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 Fragments of a Green Tortoise - Miscellaneous Debris – Archive

Fragments of a Green Tortoise

בקטגוריות: Uncategorized

30 Sep 2006

A Chinese man, hardly any English to his name, took the bunk I originally confiscated on the flimsy claim that he was, in fact, there first. Above him, a forty-ish man in semi-ragged suits and red trousers spends his time, wearing a lapel pin passed in his family from his great-great-great-great-uncle, an aide to General Sherman in the civil war, he says. He’s been to hostels all across the continent, he says, and claims to be a nuclear physicist and engineer. I would question him, but I’ve known too many physicists.

On the opposite bunk, above the skateboarder/DJ, lies the Czech man. His English is slow and tortured, so Mr. Nuclear Scientist Man, who’s been travelling with him for a while, tells his story for him. He had a friend – a lady friend. She came to the Czech Republic a few years ago and he met her, and they fell in love, and she wanted to marry him – but he turned her down. “Go back to America”, he said. “It’s better for you. You’ll find a good job, you’re a software engineer”. Fast forward to the present. He’s come to Seattle to look for her. She works at Microsoft now. She’s engaged to be married to another man. She’s invited him to her wedding, but he doesn’t want to go. He visited her. He even met her fiancé. He lies in his room most of the day, not knowing what to do.

Two Thai girls checked in this morning. Looking for a way to reduce their expenses, they offered to cook some of the hostels thrice-weekly free dinners. A shame I won’t be here on Monday to see how it turned out.

Last night, after midnight, three young Americans checked in. One had a guitar, another an old Stetson hat. The third took care of the money. After checking in they went down on the street. The musical one looked for a street corner while the slightly wild-eyed hat-wearer started running around in circles and screaming loudly into the night.

It’s the corner of Pike & Second, next to the Pike Street Market in downtown Seattle. There are beggars a-begging, drinkers a-drinking, and anyone on the street is either getting drunk or being carried home by their friends. Hip-hop leaks out of one night-club, raunchy disco music from a drag-show/burlesque at another. Downtown Seattle is fun.

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