PNW Part II

Learning is just plain easier here.  There isn’t a growing frustration when a student isn’t ‘getting it’.  The instructor takes full responsibility.  I’m sure this correlates with Seattle ranking #1 as the most literate city in the United States.  That and annoying weather (It finally got to me after enough bicycle rides and lack of visibility.  It has been unseasonably dry, which explains my initial bias.) 5 months out of the year.  These people are not only kind in demeanor, they also genuinely encourage personal growth.  It’s inherent in the culture.

I’m back in the job market with one warm lead on a pizza bar I’ve been eyeing since I arrived in Tacoma.  Along with my favorite coffee shop, Cosmonaut (only three employees, each working there for 2 years and not planning on leaving), Medi’s Pizza is the only place I fully desire to spend hours of my time laboring at.  I’ve been in there every two weeks for the last 12 weeks to check on my resume (resume, right? yeah, the service industry receives a bit more esteem on this edge of the continent).  The owner tells me to come back after my trip to Vegas.

I spent all of my money in Vegas and won $73 on a $20 investment loaned to me by an inebriated Big A after 5 minutes of playing slots.  We split the winnings and I now have cash to get the buses back from SEA-TAC Int’l to the apartment.  Oatmeal and potatoes will provide for my cells until I can unworriedly come across the next solution.

The second day back, fully recovered, I walk into the antique arcade adorned pizza bar and walk out with a schedule of training days.  The Aussie’s I’ve met traveling wouldn’t be surprised that it worked out.

 —

A friend who makes no mistakes is not a friend at all.  Someone who is a total mess, makes your life awkward and uncomfortable, and never stops watching for that rare opportunity to be there when you slip, that is a friend.

Bryce asks me to make a large custom pizza for a particular customer.  I put a good bit of love into the order and garnish it with a seven-leafed basil ornament over the intersection of the 4 wheel-cuts for no pre-determined reason other than it felt like a good idea at the time.  The older gentlemen, receiving the order, tips the bartender with a bag of eight delicious smelling cookies.  The final 3 hours were nearly dead, so I had the opportunity to enjoy Saturday Night Live, which is played throughout the restaurant’s speaker system.  Bryce and I get out at a very reasonable hour and lock up the store after a couple of shots and jamming out some Pogo Pulp Fiction through the system via my smartphone.  Feeling right with 4 cookies in my hoodie pouch, a wad built of 4 Jacksons, 3 Lincolns, 5 soft Wash’es, and 12 hard Wash’es, I tote my lady’s cartoon alligator colored, large, shiny purse and walk my bicycle to Papa Smurf a block and a half away.

A girl from the 2nd story balcony adjacent the half-way house behind Ubi’s asks if I play guitar.  It’s now close to 3:00am and I wonder if I am being solicited.  I swallow judgment and invite mas comunicación.  “You want a slightly broken guitar for parts before I throw it away?  I don’t know what kind it is.”  I reply with a chuckle of polite enthusiasm, “Hell yeah!”  Standing on a pile of concrete masonry units, I receive the base of a classical guitar, strung with the classic mistake, which over tensioned the truss-rod-less neck and caused the instrument ending injury.  To keep the kindness rolling, I inquire if she partakes and volley her response with a cookie.  Good old fashioned Tacoma transaction.

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