Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wandering Around

I'm with a group of friends, wandering around Seattle. One of them is an older man, who has lost all his teeth. He did his own dentistry though, and now has functional teeth made out of a toy of primary-colored plastic strips with crudely serrated edges. He has layered them about 5 strips wide so that he has a good biting surface. They look bright and happy, and they seem to work - he just ate a burger.

We go around the city looking at the exteriors of apartment buildings. It's gray and drizzling rain wherever we look, but it doesn't rain on us. We go into a huge apartment complex that has an open courtyard. The first floor is mostly used as a covered, outdoor parking lot. Every parking spot has a different sign, indicating how much time (60-90 minutes on average) one can park there, or how much gas one has to park there (usually about 5 gallons). There is a little filling station where you can buy gas for $5.95/gallon. One of my friends who is a taxi driver comments on that. He thinks it's expensive, but he has some logic to make it sound like he'll make lots more money and that he should work longer days. Instead of 60 hours, he now plans to work about 80 hours per weekend, maybe even 90. I don't quite understand how he won't spend all his earnings on gas, but he's a smart guy, so I figure there's some taxi driving money-making stuff I just don't understand.

We start looking inside the building. The first apartment we look into is very brightly painted in about 5 different purples and reds and yellows, and maybe a blue. It has no furniture and is a very long, empty room. Someone walks down to the end of the room where there are sounds of a dining hall in an adjacent hallway. I look into a room near the front door and there are about 8 people around a cafeteria table eating. They are all men, I don't know if they really had any food in front of them.

We go back out into the car-park and find a stairwell. We start climbing up the stairs, which are narrow, have no railing, and require us to go single-file. At each switchback, one of us (in order, and rotating through our group) has to take a turn doing some dangerous manoeuvre to flip around some clothe that's hanging our way to keep us from all falling off the stairs.

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