Another Seattle anecdote from my notebook

March 10

Stop in a local cafe across from the Pike Street Market. Need some cash. As I use the exorbitantly overpriced transaction fee laden ATM a man sitting at a table located directly between the dor and the counter begins speaking. He is somewhat indistinct, but he is saying something like:

“I used to get three hundred dollars a day out of these cash machines. [[something about buying or selling cocaine, unclear]] and you could get out $300 a day without a transaction fee. You got a transaction fee on that one?”

Long white hair and beard, flannel shirt and jeans. 55-65 years age, long slightly pointed nails, with visible dirt underneath. From California originally, he has been in Seattle for 7 years. No matter how one responds, he continues his stream of consciousness elocutions, your own contribution affecting the flow of monologue barely more than a pebble tossed into an actual stream.

“Are you a local?”

“No, I’m visiting some friends here. From New Jersey.’

“Oh,  year Jersey- interesting state. My dad was from outside Toronto, little place near a farm seven miles outside of town.”


During the 3-5 minutes I am in the cafe, he tells me his favorite pie is key lime blackberry but recommends against carbanero-the hot pepper. I am unclear if this is somehow pie related, but if so I must admit it sounds like a terrible recipe. His favorite restaurant had some sort of meal platter involving a rosemary chicken breast for only $7.50, he sometimes eats two for 13 dollars. He offers to treat me to this lunch as I am already trying to pleasantly say goodbye and head out the door, which I am slowly inching towards. There is no recognition whatsoever of my attempts to politely break off conversation, so I walk out the door, words at my back.

The coconut chai is delicious.

Later, I meet my friend Brian for lunch as he takes his break from work a couple of blocks away. We eat at an Ethiopian/African restaurant which I notice has a dish involving rosemary chicken for $7.50, but I am more in a fish mood. For $8 is it excellent, with some sort of green sauce which looks like, but does not taste like pesto.