Tenemos que cambiarnos.
I’m leaving. It’s been two years. I’ve grown, this city has grown. Seattle was a great place to spend my early twenties but now I must live with more purpose or wilt. As modern, flat-faced townhouses and Amazon campuses suck the life from this sweet pocket of cedars and Sound, I must remove myself.
I look back gratefully on my time here. I’ve come a little too close to forming a drug habit—just to stay awake in the rain-drenched winter. I’ve fallen into a love I couldn’t conceptualize from the outside, blessed by the pines and the Little Blue Guys. I’ve fallen into several slightly less abstract loves, making up for time squandered in fear and boxes. I have fucked a man in a hotel room in Belltown for $400, a bottle of wine, and some pretty good crab cakes. I wanted the experience more than the money, collector that I am. I’ve hiked a few hundred miles, I’ve cried a few hundred tears. I’ve gotten much better with a guitar and much worse with objective reality.
I came from the Midwest, running away at 22 from an abusive marriage and from my own brokenness. Or maybe malformation. I will desert to Mexico with no fear at all.
Our plan is scant, to say the least. Andrew and I have two months left here. I’ve given my bosses, told my landlord. October 20th. I’ll sell my car for funds, I’ll change my hair back from purple to brown. Andrew and I have both taught English abroad—me in Madrid, him in Volgograd, Russia—and so we feel up to the challenge. We’re certified TOFEL educators. We’ll have several thousand USD, an upper-intermediate ability to communicate in Spanish, and our wiles and charm.
We’re a good team, he and I. He’s a fast learner, he’s quick to like people, gregarious and outgoing. He gets a little in his head about what people expect of him. I’m shy, always wanting to be less so. I think too much in a different way and tend towards melancholy. I couldn’t give fewer fucks what the world thinks. I feel like the inside of my head is all corners and his is an open meadow. His eyes are transparently blue. We talk about our hypothetical future child a lot, and we’ll name her Cedar Stripe Blinkinsop.
We don’t know what to expect, which is great because expectations only breed frustration.