Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thoughts from Places: Seattle

Today was a day I had been waiting for ever since last week when my father came home with free passes to a special preview showing of Les Miserables. But if I wanted to get to the theater, I was going to have to take a bus downtown to Seattle. Now, I wouldn't necessarily call myself a traveler. I've only been out of the state twice, thrice if you count the time my family went to New York when I was five. But I wouldn't really count that trip considering the only thing I remember was being devastated after losing my Hello Kitty sunglasses on the subway. Even if I had been a more experienced traveler and gone all around the globe, I still think Seattle would be at the top of my list.

My sister and I sat near the front of the bus, facing forward because my sister gets carsick. I read my book on the way there. It was an oddly sunny for December, especially considering we don't get that much sun even in August. A few minutes after we boarded the bus, barely at the start of our journey, the sun decided not to peek behind its mask, but just rip the whole thing off, bearing its dazzling smile in all its glory. Everything was bright; the white pages of my book shined a white-hot gold. It almost hurt to keep my eyes open, and I thought about shutting them, but decided to enjoy it instead. You have to treasure the moments of brightness you get in the coldest months.

I lost myself in my book as the bus trotted on. I was lulled into a state of relaxation, my body not being thrown in a distinct direction of up or down, but still in motion. A lot of people don't read while they're in a car, but for me it's my favorite place to have a book.

My sister tapped me on the shoulder, and I pulled myself away from the story as she pointed out the window. Like I said, I haven't traveled to many places, but I have seen pictures--beautiful images of cathedrals and towering buildings and Time Square, and other pieces of amazeballs architecture. But I swear, they are nothing compared to the awe-inspiring beauty that is the Seattle skyline. The sun barely hovered over the horizon, and the sky was that gentle orange color. The outlines of buildings ran across  my vision, with the Space Needle, literally towering over everything--the reflection of all of this shimmering across Lake Union. Seriously, you guys, it's so fricking gorgeous.

The bus made its way through a tunnel, the kind with the yellow lights on top that you pass through so fast it makes you feel like you're inside of an alien spaceship. Then suddenly, we were inside of the city. Buildings that looked so small from the bridge now shot up so high I had to crane my neck to see their peaks.

We got off at our stop and were greeted by our father, who had gotten work off to come see the movie with us. We were pretty early because we knew we would have to wait in line for this thing. It was a cattle call, so more tickets had been given out than there were seats in the theater, which was inside, (thank goodness) so we wouldn't be waiting for 4 hours in the cold. We got our spot in line and waited patiently. I read some more of my book, watched How I Met Your Mother on my sister's iPhone, and drank Starbucks. There was also some bonding with a brother and sister my age who were behind us in line. They were very passionate about musical theater, (as I am) and were also fans of the web-series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. We discussed the attractiveness of Wickham and the adorbs of Lydia while the line got bigger and bigger, stretching almost all the way around the circular floor we were on.

When we were finally let in, the theater was packed. They had let the press in a few minutes before us, and they took up, I kid you not, the entire main section of the theater, leaving only the first five rows (or, what I call, "The Neck-Craners") for the ticket holders who had been standing in line. I felt bad for the people behind us (we were within the first 10 people and still got stuck in the Neck-Craners) who waited and still didn't get to see the movie. It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, though. In fact, I emerged from the theater 2 and a half hours later with no joint discomfort whatsoever.

The movie started and I cried and laughed and cried some more. It really was a fantastic movie. But I won't say too much, because that's not really what this post is about.

The movie let out, and I said my goodbyes to my friends-for-the-day. It was a bit of a walk back to our car, but I didn't mind. I had my jacket, and my sister let me borrow her gloves. She, my father, and I all talked about the movie on our way back. Even though I only live about 25 minutes away, I don't get into the city often, so I tried to take in as much as I could. The parks, the buildings, the bare trees that glowed underneath street lamps.

I know I'm not supposed to like cities. That I'm supposed to think that corporations are corrupting Mother Nature, and that it's all a big money scheme. But that's not what I think about when I'm there. I look at the buildings and think about how beautiful they are--all glass windows and the florescent lights of the offices inside them. And I know it's kind of horrible, but I think the beauty of a tree is appreciated  more when it's surrounded by cement. Seattle is especially beautiful around the holidays, when fairy lights are hung on trees and the Space Needle is glowing green and red. No matter where I am, I'll always be a city girl.

I drove back home, the songs of Les Mis swimming through my head. And as we got onto the freeway, I turned around and smiled at Seattle--my city--with patient anticipation for our next encounter.

Tonight's ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas Feature: Home Alone
Christmas-tastic Thing of the Day: Christmas lights. Colored or white, we love em. (Does that sound like I'm taking about race?)

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