everyone's coming back to the apartment and i've got a couple seconds to dump a couple things out before concentration slides away. i'll come back before tomorrow's post to edit and put some links in for the organizations and musicians mentioned below.
we rode road bikes today all around seattle. everywhere. our adventure started near the seattle pacific university campus where we met indie musician noah gundersen for lunch. he had a show tonight on campus with david bazan (pedro the lion, headphones, etc) that we'd all be back for.
as is usual, i later split off from the group and locked my borrowed bike in front of a borders. finally an american bookstore. i would like nothing more than to one day have a chill place where i can have my own library of books and music and instruments. anyways, while wandering the sunny streets of the pike place market i ran into a new friend, chris, who i'd met a few hours earlier and who was a friend of parkers. he works for the charity children international and we got to know each other a bit on the street corner of pine and first. chris looks just like one of my baseball teammates from rock valley college except he has piercings of bone particles in his ear. i asked him why he does what he does and why he walks downtown and asks people to sponsor children for twenty dollars a month. he'd already tried to get me and i changed subjects.
his reasons were non spiritual and elementally human: contentment and the feeling of helping. the explanation was cut short by a homeless girl. "man, she would be so beautiful if she could kick her habit and get a shower. i can just see her walking the streets in a sundress and maybe a little bit of make up and enjoying her day instead of sitting and begging on the corner to aid her fix." chris and i walked across the street and he bought her a piece of pizza. after handing it over and him saying that he knows and wants to identify with these 'bum' friends, we saw the girl tearing her pizza in half to share with another bum across the street. a beautiful moment. i saw another homeless man drinking the last sips from a drink he scooped from the garbage. ten feet away from him were the shopping middle class husbands and wives and families. on the other side of this were luxury cars and shiny rims roaring over the downtown cobblestone. and nobody seemed to notice either of the others within their thirty foot radius. all these things connected in my mind and i agreed to sponsor a child and picked a boy in mexico because i'd been there a couple times before.
there was an awesome three piece bluegrass band outside the original starbucks and i leaned against a light pole for fifteen minutes. i was glad i had no backpack and didn't feel like a tourist during my wandering laps through the crowds of families and foreigners and shoppers. pike place market.
i rode along with traffic to meet back up with the other guys and we headed back to campus for the show. we chilled with noah backstage and the group of us took a walk around campus. we didn't even have to worry about seats cause we were all given reserved 4th row seats with him. awesome. before noah went up he asked four of us if we wanted to come on stage for part of the singalong for the last song. yes, that would be sweet.
the room was two hundred plus packed and when we got our cue we ran onto the stage to sing the melody. it was great. then the lights dimmed and david bazan clawed his acoustic guitar and thanked us for coming to see an 'old guy singing old songs.' his tone was milk and honey and the whole room was motionless for every tune. in between songs he'd interact and would answer any questions. at the end he told everyone to ''be sweet to each other if they really believe what the Bible says.''
dick's is a fast food, outdoor burger joint that hasn't changed prices in fifty-five years of business. that's incredible on so many levels and the high school kids in orange uniforms that work on the other side of the glass move so quick that it's almost unsettling to think that they're doing it for me. but the food is good and incredibly cheap and is also tonight's last reason to love seattle.
that's a quick summary. bikes, seattle, coffee, books, musicians, friends, homeless, charities, good people, food, and a somehow privileged life and journey. i'm so happy and so thankful to be alive.