Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The Gas Works
It's 3:00 AM here, it's midnight over there, but for me it will always be about four o' clock in the afternoon - that's where I have been over and over tonight - dreaming about the gas works.
You really have to want to go there to get there, it is not something that most tourists would be able to find, you pull through the eccentric shops and bars of Ballard, down narrow old streets that are better suited to bicycles and walking, over old and abandoned ribbons of railroad tracks - sheltered from the sun by strings of streetcar wires overhead, and three story brick buildings that are mostly tiny enclaves of various cultures - then you pull off, and down the hill you go - the parking lot is relatively small, but you can just see the tops of old refinery tanks (if that is what they were), brown and rusty - and you wonder if this is really the beautiful park that all of the travel guides talk about.
Hoola hoops, and chinese kite flyers, and half stoned college students are mixed in with families with their small children, ladies in bikinis, and men taking advantage of a sunny Seattle day armed with cameras and zoom lenses.
I slept on that hill overlooking the Sound, the towers and prisms of downtown just four miles away as the crow flies, but far enough away that the sound of the traffic is drowned out, the only noise are those associated with relaxtion and peace - it is as if everyone who enters this monument to progress and change is instantly transformed to a world of things past - and lets go of things to come.
I did that, I let go of things to come, for that time that I was on the hill, that is all there was, a Friday afternoon, in a new, calm place that beckoned me to rest. Feel the sun on my back, feel the breeze through my hair, and sleep for that short time and enjoy the minutes by resting.
Sleep is not coming so easy now - I wake up after replaying that dream in my head, an endless loop of memory stuck somewhere in between that park and this night - sleeplessness has set back in, and the short bursts of rest that I do get are there, in the gas works, on that hill overlooking a blue sky and the glass water of Seattle.
This night I want to go back to gas works, and sleep on that hill, and forget about the darkness in between the stars for just a little while that seems to have crept into my thoughts - and just count the stars, and the laughs, and just be there. Sleep perchance to dream...