Less pessimistically, there's this

Eating breakfast at Mrs Rigby's Diner a week or so back, the neighborhood's main homeless guy was walking around as usual, asking people for change. Not so usual, his pants were almost at his knees.

Unlike the idiot kids wearing low britches as a fashion statement, this bum was showing the world substantial butt cleavage. Half his backside was visible from my table, over my flapjacks. Guess everyone eating breakfast had the same scenic view, if they happened to be seated facing the wrong direction.

He strolled casually back and forth on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, northbound, then soon he'd be back headed southbound, always with too much of him on display. 

From my vantage, I happily can't say whether his hobo genitals were covered, but nobody screamed or called the cops, so I'm guessing there was underwear.

That particular bum is always in sight at the diner, and whenever he's within arm's reach I give the man a donation. As I handed it to him I said, "Good show today, man," but he only nodded and leaned on a wall, with a long shirt loose over his groin.

Apparently I'm not going to find a cheap apartment downtown. I'm not sure there are any, except rooms for the homeless. For the foreseeable forever, I'll remain living with my flatmates Dean and Robert and the mysterious 'L', in this shared, oddly leaning old house on the westish southish side of the city.

It's not a decision, really. It's simply inertia. Day after day after week after month, I'd rather remain in my recliner than traipse my lazy ass downtown and trudge block after block looking for a room for a reasonable rent, in a city that's outlawed reasonable rents.

And of course, if I did find a cheap room, nobody'd let me move in. SROs are illegal here, so it'll never be simply cash for a key — a credit check will be required, but that's a laugh. I'm unemployed, and my credit history is empty 'cuz I haven't done credit since the 1980s.

Yeah, where I'm at will have to do. And it's OK, I guess. It's cheap, the landlord's not an ass, and it has everything I want except where it is, amidst blocks and blocks of whitebread houses.

And the bus only runs twice hourly.

And of course, Dean's continued existence, but he's old so maybe he'll die soon. 

And I shouldn't type this — it might jinx things, but — Dean doesn't talk at me as much as he used to. Sometimes lately he doesn't start talking the moment he sees me, and "Hi" is enough, and he lets me pass. Sometimes. 

Almost as reliably as mass shootings in America, young girls and women go missing and are never found, or they're found in pieces. I have no grand theories about why that is; only the obvious, that humans and especially men are monsters. 

Judging from media coverage, and from the homemade missing-persons posters I sometimes see, every doomed one of these females seems to be white. Surely minority girls and women have at least an equal opportunity for kidnapping and whatever else, but the missing you hear about are always, always white.

Megan Dunpher is missing. Age 14. She's cute, which is probably what cost her life. The posters at the bus station startled me, not because a girl is missing, but because she's not white. From the photocopied photo, I'd guess she's Hispanic, or light black, or was.

By American standards, this is progress. 

Less pessimistically, there's this — I've changed the girl's name, above, because she's been found, and found alive.

Even the good news is tempered with bad, though. She'll have to deal with whatever she's been through, which you hope was only running away with her boyfriend, but most likely was something far worse.

In addition to that, she gets a life sentence of lack of privacy. Wherever she attends school or college, whatever job she applies for, Googling her name will forever bring up a thousand media reports about when she was missing in 2023, with photos and quotes from her parents and teachers and friends and the cops.

"Have you seen this girl?" for the rest of her life.

There are people, I've heard, who enjoy googling themselves and seeing their limited fame, but never have I ever understood that. 

I google Doug Holland once in a while, only for the reassurance of seeing again that the results lead everywhere but to me.



  1. "Apparently I'm not going to find a cheap apartment downtown"

    Have you thought about looking for a place up north, specifically on/near Aurora Ave? In my experience, it's certainly more colorful and "city"-like (open prostitution, drugs, working class, serial killers, etc.) than the blandscape south of town, and if I recall it's almost a straight shot via bus into the actual city.

    When I first moved to Seattle, we stayed in a hotel out there for a couple weeks, that was simultaneously terrifying and a hoot... but were were in our twenties and brushed it off.

    1. I've been thinking of the University District, where I lived 30 years ago. There might still be shared houses with rooms for rent at reasonable rates, though I haven't found any evidence online.

      Aurora Ave? Hmmm. Yes, it's a straight shot into downtown, but as I recall it there's nothing along that long stretch but hooker hotels and auto parts stores. I'll add a bus ride on Aurora to my not at all busy agenda.

      Maybe I could live in a room at one of the hooker hotels and work the night desk — that might be fun.

      Even when I took a lady to a no-tell hotel years ago, it wasn't on Aurora, so I don't know squat. Do you remember the hotel as being dirt cheap? Reasonably sleepable?

    2. Claude "Iceberg" ReignsAugust 22, 2023 at 4:51 PM





    3. Maybe it's the cheery music, or that it was filmed on a sunny day, but Aurora Ave looks better in that video than the Aurora I remember.

      Kind of a fascinating ride. I was never on Aurora much, except for meals at Beth's Cafe. A lot of it looks like there's be cheap housing.

      There's been talk that there's child- and forced-prostitution in the area too, but that's what the anti-sex people would say whether it's true or not.

      I don't think the woman at 1:05 in the first video is a prostitute. She's simply dressed for summer, walking somewhere.

      The elephant! I saw the elephant at 5:12.

      The Alaska Way tunnel! I drove a bus through it, and got into an argument with the instructor…

    4. After watching all four videos, what's most noticeable is that the hookers seem much, much more attractive than when I was 30, and it's *not* because sex seems so much more impossible now (though, of course, impossible it is).

      I knew a couple of prostitutes in San Francisco, not like friends but well enough to say "Hi, Anne" and "Hello, Frieda." It's more dangerous than working fast food, but not any more demeaning in my opinion. Long as it's chosen, not forced.

      Yeah, I'll definitely take a road trip to Aurora, maybe tomorrow if my mood's right. Before the weekend, definitely. I'm mostly curious about how long the bus ride is, from Aurora to downtown, and also how long it *seems*.

    5. Claude "Century 21" ReignsAugust 22, 2023 at 8:02 PM

      What's your price limit? I bet there's lots of rooms for under $750 near Greenlake, and further north. Of course, $750 is OBSCENE for a single room, but hey that's Seattle.

    6. If by 'room' you mean in a shared house, I'm currently paying $775, and dream of paying less. An actual apartment can't be had for less than about $1100.

      Last time I got the rent together at the bank, and mentioned it was for rent, the teller asked if I live in a garage. $775 is ☆crazy☆ cheap for Seattle.

    7. Tell me about it.

      We were paying 750 for the second floor of a lovely house in Wallingford, in 2004. Perfect location: two blocks to water and trails, six blocks to grocery, 12 blocks to U-District, 15 blocks to Fremont, buses on every corner.

      Then the landlords sell to a young couple who tell us they're putting six (6!) bedrooms in the basement for let, and tripling our rent.

      I still have those yuppie cunts bookmarked, and they're still doing the same thing with other houses, 20 years later. I hope the earth opens up its asshole and swallows them whole.

    8. This is why the city, every city, needs rent control. Of course, the city council, every city council, has no tenants but lots of landlords so that'll never happen until heads roll.

      I'm more and more fond of heads rolling.


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