Golden: Part 7

It had been three days since my last shower. That first ice cold shower convinced me something was wrong with the hot water heater. After four days a Walden I noticed Nick and Sam never showered while I had been there. I was with Nick 90% of the time and he would come out of his bedroom combing his wet hair back and adjusting his black track suit, the same one he wore the entire time I was in Seattle. When I mentioned the hot water situation Nick asked Sam if there was hot water, they mumbled back and forth until nick decided to jump in the hot tub, relaxing for twenty minutes and hopping back out. I never went into the hot tub.
We drove to downtown Seattle that evening, passing the Microsoft building with Nick pointing out how much money there was in the city. We parked in a ramp and went into the lobby passing two Lamborghini’s and a Ferrari parked at a turnaround. The restaurant was the go-to place for Microsoft executives to have a meal or conduct business during lunch. A bar ran along the back wall with the rest of the place filled with tables to seat four or more patrons. The special of the day was the hamburger and today it was half off the regular price of $50. I wasn’t sure what was supposed to be so special about this burger. We had a place downtown in Kalamazoo that did a foie gras burger for $50 and it didn’t last long on the menu. The burger was nothing special and it wasn’t cooked at medium like I had asked. The head chef and owner was some world-renowned chef that I had never heard of.
“This room is filled with some of the wealthiest men in the city, in the country.”
I looked around and didn’t see anything special. Take off the suits and ties and they weren’t any different than me. The women looked uncomfortable in their shoes and wore dresses that didn’t flatter their bodies, relying on the name of the designer rather than what would match their profile. Most of the servers were more attractive than the people dining in maybe it was because you could see who they really were instead of who they wanted others to see them as.
Sam talked about his start up and Nick discussed his previous business adventures. I said nothing. I never finished the burger; my appetite had disappeared after the morning breakfast at Gilbert’s. We left the Microsoft burger joint and went back to Walden for another evening of bashing our heads together. The days were starting to blend together and for every step forward it felt like we took two steps back.
The next day started out with coffee on the deck overlooking the woods. Deer were out grazing along the side of the house. The birds flew in the trees and looked for food in the feeders that had not been filled in years. I thought about my next book, what I would work on once I went home. Nick came out and joined me on the deck.
“you know once this thing sells, you’re going to have a lot of work coming your way.” Nick continued to sell me the project even when I was in it. “there is going to be so much money, and the women, oh I tell you the women…”
I didn’t want to go to Hollywood or sleep around. Fast cars and big house didn’t appeal to me. I wanted a little security and that was it. That day Sam worked all day and Nick had to go out for some errands. I was at the house by myself and there wasn’t anything to do for the show. We had come to a halt and by that time we were all burned out. I would be leaving soon and it looked like my one goal would never happen. I thought about riding a mountain bike to Seattle but it wasn’t mine and it wasn’t sure if I could trust it to go from point A to B and back again. I stayed at the house and spent that afternoon in the woods.
By the time I came back Nick was in the house and wondered if I had biked to town or not. The bridge to Seattle didn’t have bike lanes and it didn’t sound like a good idea to me. That night Nick and I drove to town. We were meeting Sam at a local bar but before then I was going to see the sites. There was Pike’s place market, which was closed because it was only open during mornings and afternoons. Then there was the gum wall, high school antics gone too far. We were told about a troll but didn’t know where to find it. The streets were hills running up and down in various directions. Nothing was flat. The place Nick wanted to go was closed, and had been for a while. Instead we went to an Irish pub called Kells. It was a classic bar with a wide selection of whiskeys on the wall. Nick was sober, several years post AA. He had discovered that if he smoked a cigar, he needed to have scotch. Once he quit smoking, he quit drinking.
“Do you know your whiskey, scotch and bourbon?” he asked.
“Not really,” I replied.
Nick asked the bartender to give me a taste of what was behind the bar. There must have been thirty brands waiting in their place in line. The first drink was smoky and I wasn’t sure what I was going to be able to taste afterwards. It went down smooth and Nick had this grin on his face while living vicariously through me.
“Next one,” nick said as he sipped his non-alcoholic beer.
The next drink was lighter in color. The bartender told me the flavors and smells I should look for but the first drink killed any chance of that happening. After three of four of this shots Sam finally arrived and we sat down to order some food. I couldn’t taste my beer that night or the food I ordered. Downtown Seattle reminded me of Chicago in some ways. There was the famous Starbucks that started it all. Shops I had ever heard of and a Déjà vu strip club that made sure Seattle was too classy. We wondered around not finding anything else to do and I sat in the back of the car with my head against the glass counting down the hours until I would be able to leave. We didn’t work that night and Sam had to be at work early the next morning. I fell asleep and woke up three hours later sober and wide awake. This was a common thing for me after drink hard liquor. I stayed up and surfed the internet until the sun started to rise and waited for everyone else to join the world. I sat on the deck sipping coffee again and was thankful to finally be alone and for once not think about the show. Kalamazoo was calling me and I wanted to go back to a land that I understood a little more than this place. Seattle was a city that was still dealing with puberty and didn’t know what it would be when it finally grew up.

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