Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seattle Night Out

There was a prayer group at the top of the hill. Youths, probably college aged, stood in a circle and looked ominously religious. I paused in my steps, felt the soft earth give slightly under me.

“It's a church group,” Amber said it with authority. As we walked by it became clear that she was very right. “I knew it, I have a knack for knowing these things.” Amber was our guide for the night. She was a homegrown Seattlite who had just moved back. She was blond and tall, will an amiability about her that put me immediately at ease.

We were at Gas Works Park. Ciera, Amber, Blake, and I. It was the beginning of our night and it put me in the right disposition to know that the night would be good, and I would feel comfortable for the first time in a long time.

Let me be frank—but as Nick still. I haven't really hung out with anyone my age for a while. Sure we have gotten to spend some time with Adrienne, but she is just as lost as we are in Portland. Sure I could hang with my cousins, but the familial relation keeps us at a respectable social distance. Amber and Blake were right in my scope of comfort. They had both gone to college, and knew what the young hip bar scene looked like. We went to a low key bar. We went to a loud bar. We saw skeez-balls. We met Amber's roommate Eleanor. We did things that the young and the restless do. We stayed up late, had a few drinks, and ruled the city while the real adults slept. And I have not done that in so very long.

So I pushed aside the Book of Mormon hanging out in the back seat, and happily rode home next to Ciera. The streetlights cast shadows over our faces as the car turned and passed through the city.

I was in the middle of a story when he walked up and just stopped. Just stood there, filling in the circle as if he had been there the whole time. And he looked around, expecting us to entertain him for a moment. And then the silence descended. The long pause of an elephant storming into a room and demanding to be ignored. I barely held in my laughter. And then, from the intersection, in a car, “Scott? Scott?” And he left. We couldn't help but explode. A random individual had just walked up to us and stood with us as if he had been there the whole time. Then he disappeared. Rather, instead of jumping in the car of the person who was calling for him, he bolted up the hill and ran into the night.

I have been part of few things more bizarre. And it was all delightfully comforting. To be back in the land of late night oddities. 2 am munchies (this time they were tiny delicious pies) and people our own age. What a wonderful feeling. Feeling normal.