When a week of my Seattle life went by without any bizarre antics, abnormal interactions, or anything unusual happening, I panicked. After I first moved out here, there were so many things that struck me as bizarre, I wondered if, with enough time, I would become desensitized to all of the things that struck me as abnormal. Luckily my fears were quickly dissolved after this past week launched into a wealth of weirdness that has largely been unrivaled in my time here.
Yes, I’ve had plenty of outlandish experiences out here. Quite frankly, it’s half of the reason I can so consistently keep writing a blog about my Seattle experience. But this week had such an abundance of crazy behavior, I was reassured that I probably would never get used to everything that happens here.
It all started when I walked past a homeless man with a few friends of mine, and instead of asking for money he got straight to the point and asked if we had any opium on us.
I stared at him, blinking a few times, making sure I actually heard correctly what he asked. I looked at my friends, who were both as shocked as I was, and as we walked on, he muttered, “0 for 17.”
This, of course, triggered the mental roller coaster of thoughts in me that came bursting through the flood gates all at once. At first I was mildly offended that he would think I would be someone who not only carried around opium on my person, but was really just waiting for a stranger to ask me for it in order for me to give it away. Then I thought maybe, like many things in life, it is simply a numbers game, and someone was bound to say yes. Then I wanted to ask how many people he typically had to ask to score some opium.
Also, while I attributed my resting bitch face and expensive boots as the only logical reasoning behind him mistaking me for some sort of drug dealer, I wanted to turn around and scold him like a child. Didn’t he know he shouldn’t take drugs from strangers he didn’t know? He was asking for a world of trouble.
Instead, I walked on in disbelief, deciding that keeping these thoughts and questions to myself in this situation was probably a better idea.
My friends and I then wandered into a bar and saw a man in a neon sweatsuit, including matching shoes and a sweatband around his head. Again the thought flood gates opened, and I couldn’t keep it to myself, so I spilled my inner monologue to my friends, as we all three blatantly stared the man down.
“Did he run here? Does he think he is making a fashion statement and that it looks good to have a neon glow in this light? Is he worried his friends won’t find him? Does he have any friends? Did he really not have the time to change into something that wasn’t active wear? A SWEATBAND? REALLY?”
They just laughed at me, as they are used to the rapid fire questions that come into my brain with random situations. I decided it was just a weird night, and was secretly glad, as this was proof that I was not desensitized to all of the weirdness that takes place in this city. But what I didn’t realize is that this was only the beginning of a week of bizarre human behavior.
I threw up a little in my mouth as I watched a man in Starbucks pull out a pair of nail clippers and start cutting his fingernails in the middle of the store.
I waited at the bus stop with a man who smiled and nodded at me, put on headphones, and then proceeded to play what I can only assume was the air keytar, as his form seemed way off for his imaginary instrument to be a guitar.
I stood in line getting a coffee (I’m realizing I might be spending too much time at Starbucks), as I over heard a man order: “I need to order a fancy drink for my wife. A vanilla latte, piping hot, nonfat milk, no foam, unicorn tears and rainbow dust.” I started laughing out loud for that one. He was joking about the last part, but you never know around these parts what is a joke and what is real.
I watched as a man danced down the street rocking out on his flute.
I glared at a man who boarded the bus smoking a cigarette. Luckily, he took one look at my disapproval and sheepishly put it out. My face must have given away that I was milliseconds away from giving him a piece of my mind.
There was new graffiti in my neighborhood that has what I can only assume is a cross between a dog and a monkey with the saying, “I ain’t your friend” painted around it. I wondered what kind of message this was supposed to send. While I found it absurd, I eventually decided I should adopt it as my new Seattle life motto. This monkey-dog was my new spirit animal.
I went to a concert and saw the doppelgangers of Sonny Bono and Ben Folds in the same night…both of whom ended up being musicians playing in the event and not just randos in the crowd as I initially had thought. (Maybe this doesn’t exactly hit the criteria to qualify for the week of weird, but it was bizarre enough to be noteworthy).
As I walked home from the concert last night, I thought I’d logged in enough time with unusual Seattle behavior to hit my quota for some time. I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized that I don’t think there will ever be a point where this becomes my “new normal.” My brain is too rapid fire and has too many follow up questions for any given situation for me to simply not react to being mistaken for a drug dealer.