Oh, depression … my Jesus, my lord, my omnipresent companion.
For a long time, I’ve wanted to be normal. More than anything, I would love to sit in front of my television on a Sunday, beer in hand, shouting for the home team to score a touchdown. I want to experience euphoria when they win, and I want to high-five random strangers in joyful release when some kid I don’t know catches a misshapen ball.
Instead, I sit there, watching and thinking “What is the point in all of this? Those 20,000 idiots in the stands … what in the hell are they cheering about? How can they be so happy at a time like this, with all of the evil shit taking place in the world right this moment? Clearly, they’re nothing more than rubes. Common idiots. Certainly nowhere near as intelligent as I am.”
You see, I’m not depressed. I’m smart. That’s why I’m miserable. At least this is what I tell myself in fits of self-delusion.
Deep-down, though, I’m jealous. I want to care about asinine things. I want to be easily amused. Instead of being polite and going with the flow, I want to scream “Woooo!” and really mean it.
This rarely happens, though. A really good, loud show can distract me for a couple of hours, but then it’s back to the dark side. If normal human mood was rated on a scale of 1-10, I think my very best days are probably a 5, and I would kill to get up to a 4 right now. For whatever reason, I’ve just been in an extra funk that tends to happen once every few months.
Now, back in the day I used to “treat” myself with a fair amount of help from, how can I say this in a pee cee manner … undocumented pharmaceuticals.
Those days are over, however, and these days I really have no choice but to ride it out while shaking my fist at the new Aurora Bridge suicide fence (thanks for taking that option away, assholes).
When I am at my worst, like today, I just get out and walk. I don’t have a destination in mind, I just go. Down to SoDo, over to Queen Anne, through Belltown alleys and up steep First Hill inclines. The anonymity of the streets calm me. I walk. I walk. I walk some more. Occasionally for minutes, usually for hours. I’m searching for something, anything, a sight, a smell, a sound that will just pull me out of it.
Sometimes, like today, I get hungry in the process.
After a downhill stretch on Pike from Broadway to the Market, I realized that I had not eaten in 24 hours. Worse yet, I was getting bombarded by wind, rain, and hail. Shortly after leaving home, a small hurricane reared its ugly head and it battered me for the entire journey, almost as if God himself were flipping me the middle finger.
Certainly low blood sugar was not helping my cause, and if I was going to eat, it would have to be something I knew I liked. Trial and error on days like today were not an option.
Then, it came to me.
Ivar’s Salmon Chowder, the preferred delicacy of King Neptune himself.
This. This is what I wanted.
I walked down the Harbor Steps, out onto Alaskan Way, and … screeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!
A car nearly hit me. By nearly hit me, I mean … nearly hit me. Eight, nine inches tops (that’s what she said).
I clearly had the walk, and the man in the baked potato-shaped Lexus clearly had a red light, but the driver did what most Americans do when confronted with their own errors.
Blame someone else.
While stationary in the middle of road about 12 feet away from me, the guy rolled down his window, looked back, and shouted “Don’t walk out into the street without looking!”
Yes. It was all … my … fault that he ran a red light. I don’t know what I was thinking.
Normally, when stupid things like this happen, I just shrug it off and move on. I have the typical attitude of an urban pedestrian/bicycling hipster. My lack of a car makes me better, more deep, and way more complex than lame car-dependant people from Redmond, and my superiority complex dictates that I not acknowledge any drivers, and ESPECALLY not acknowledge Lexus drivers who are clearly trying to purchase their way into the coolness that comes naturally for me.
You know my type. I’m an insufferable prick. I’m the guy in flannel with a hipper-than-thou attitude brooding in the corner of Starbucks like a tortured poet. F**k you too.
As the guy was yelling at me today, however, it bothered me more than usual. I mean, here the guy almost killed me, and now I had to get scolded like his little bitch on top of it?
Before I could even comprehend my actions, I reached into my pocket, grabbed my small bottle of Fiji water (which was really just tap water I had filled at home), and hurled it at the guy’s car. It hit his rear window with a resounding thud, and when the cap blew off, time crawled as I watched an aquatic explosion in slow-motion that was more beautiful than the Bellagio Fountains themselves.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), it didn’t do much damage. Subconsciously, I think I wanted to break his window, or maybe even his head, but instead all I did was wash his car.
When the deed was done, I stood there and waited.
Was he packing?
Would I get shot?
Would he throw it in reverse and try to run me over?
Did I even care?
In the end, after what seemed like an eternity of stunned silence, he simply hit the gas and drove off without uttering another word.
As a dozen other cars sat patiently waiting for me, unsure of what they had just witnessed, I walked over, picked up my empty bottle, retrieved the cap, and walked on to Ivar’s.
It was the best fish and chowder I have had in a long time.