“Charlie’s is the best fucking bar, man! You can get so much titty action there! Well, Levi can. I don’t got game.”
I overhear this, walking in front of a small pack of boisterous men and headed up 4th Avenue in Olympia, looking for a 24-hour coffee bar I know is up here somewhere. I’m also looking for my girlfriend and trip-mate Jasmine who was not allowed into my husband’s rock concert on account of misplaced identification (sad times!).
“She’s got more game than me,” the breast-aficionado indicates yours truly. Ladies know this ritual well: a male stranger, bringing you into a conversation on an awkward or slim segue. It’s usually harmless; it’s usually friendly. I return communication in that spirit, because I do not assume guys are unilateral creeps, or that they don’t have the right to talk to me. He compliments my fishnets. I tell him they can be his for $1 at Wal-mart. He tells me I wear them better than he could. I ask if he knows where the coffee bar is. He walks me to it and manages to shoehorn in several colorful Olympia facts as well as saying there’s “nothing to fucking do around here.” “I take it you live here,” I say, and after his assent I tell him: “I’m from little old Hoquiam, and I like visiting a lot.”
If I’m out during nightlife, I get hit on, yeah. I think I get hit on because I am a content and happy city-goer. I like talking to strangers. More than that, I love going to music (especially Ralph’s), and I love eating food in the city, and I love the summer night and what it’s doing to my mood, and I love that I took Jasmine out to lunch and the spa and we had a wonderful time – even if her plans to watch a show were derailed. I am ecstatically happy for a free night while my kids are out with other grownups – my daughter with my mother, my son home having pizza and recording music with a friend of Ralph’s. I am happy, but also the world seems spinning so fast it might throw me off entirely, at least where my children and my paths have momentarily diverged.
Redbird Fever‘s set was a good one; I was touched by the friends who came, many from a 1 or 2 hour drive away, and the unexpected and pleasant surprise of Ralph’s old bandmate I hadn’t seen in nine or so years.
Small town; good times.
city – you always talk about Olympia as a city, which always seems weird to me, because I think of seattle as the city (because we live nearby). And because when I lived in Olympia I thought about it as being a small town, but I was from Ann Arbor, which is bigger, and which I grew up in with people saying it was a town (because Detroit was the city). So I am always taken aback for a second. But when it comes right down to it, Olympia is a city, and I would rather live a ferry ride from Olympia, than a ferry ride from Seattle. Olympia is pretty easy to get around on foot, bike, bus or car and has most of the stuff that we go off-island for anyhow.
So yeah, Olympia the city.
Wikipedia calls Oly a city. I remember learning back in grade school that Washington state had like 263 cities / towns, and that Aberdeen (population 16,000) was one of the 60 larger ones. So I think maybe WA state just has a more modest (population-wise) definition of “city!”
“Olympia is pretty easy to get around on foot, bike, bus or car and has most of the stuff that we go off-island for anyhow.”
Yes, and I really love this about it. Oh! And I found a pretty cool 24-hour coffee bar so if we meet up in Oly we should meet up there.
As evidenced by the man I talked to on the street, I have got the impression many who live in Oly think it lacks in urban character and opportunity.
yeah. When I lived in Olympia I mostly loved it, but no one else seemed to.
I was a total social misfit (no one had to exclude me, I had that taken care of), so it was weird and lonely, but I liked the town (no, city!).
Oh yeah! That reminds me of living in Seattle; probably a very cool place, but I was very lonely and not very happy, so it doesn’t leave that “I had the time of my life” series of memories, you know?