I get an email that a book I placed on hold is at the Ballard Library. A bit of planned serendipity that changes the trajectory of my day; I decide to walk to the library. I leave my building through the side entrance next to Ballard Market and Quality Sewing and Vacuum. I wonder if sewing and vacuuming compliment each other in some way? Why not sewing and watch repair? Vacuuming and key copying?
A line of used vacuums are behind a fence in a dirty doorway like children at the Mexican border. The sad obsolescence of vacuums. Construction workers stand around a trench next to the new building waiting to be filled with merchandise, coffee and medical services. I cross Market at NW 58th.
NW 58th is a mix of Craftsmans and stucco apartment complexes, balconies filled with the detritus of singles. Ashy hibachi, bug spray, drying laundry, bikes. Rotting mini-libraries house fingered Daniel Steeles, a coloring book, a cheap novel with a smoking gun, dice and a handkerchief with red lipstick on the cover. I judge. The best intentions of the privileged thinking we all have time to be part of their kumbaya community project.
A brown man takes a mattress out of a moving truck and carries it into a rental walk-up. The soft malleable bounce, dropping not an issue, a brief respite.
At the corner of NW 58th and 24th Ave NW, stop-sign passive aggressiveness. I waive that I am crossing and proceed on faith. Interactions from a car are polite, in person not so much. I pass St. Luke’s. White people garden, brown people sleep under trees on the property, a group of white men play hacky sack on the sidewalk. An older white women changes the changeable letters, a task, I presume, for congregants. A sign reads: We stand with our Muslim neighbors; yet I don’t see one Muslim neighbor. They are redlined to the outer fringes, by the progressive fringes of Seattle.
I pick up my book, my last name bookmarked under O. I remember my password and the library procedure goes smoothly. No requesting new passwords and usernames in the purgatorial process of digital identity. I am the number I said I was like a Holocaust survivor’s arm.