Author of the Queen City Boys books

“I was just nowhere near your neighborhood”


I should have gone to bed two hours ago. Instead of sleeping I am drinking red wine and watching Singles. It’s making me incredibly homesick for a Seattle that doesn’t even exist anymore. For some reason this makes me want to pack a small bag, put an add on Craigslist Spain, offering to marry any guy in Barcelona to get citizenship, and disappear in the middle of the night. Or maybe it’s the good Spanish wine (and overdose of political blogs) that is making me want to do that.

Seriously though, the Seattle of Singles was kind of a fairytale to begin with, but even the Seattle it was based on is long gone. I’d say no one could understand what I mean, but I know for sure Boots does, and the other night I ended up in a long conversation with a friend’s sister who was lamenting the years she lived in Seattle in the 90s going to the Cha Cha and Linda’s. The apartment building in the movie is across the street from my middle school, a few blocks from where Boots and I grew up. Every filming location is instantly recognizable. It’s making me kind of teary.

The movie does almost entirely miss the point of the social movement in Seattle at that time. The characters aren’t even caricatures of anyone really living in that time at that age. But damn, the music is also making me, uh, not homesick, but, um, nostalgic, I guess. Though I always imagine nostalgia containing some sort of concept of wishing you could return to that time. I certainly don’t want that, but I do feel oddly heartsick for the loss of it. For the fact that only a few of my friends remember it. For the fact that my little sister will never know it. For it being strangely lost to my history in a way I could never completely share with a lover or a future partner. And of course my sister will have a version of Seattle that I will never really experience. And any potential partner doesn’t need to share my past because we’ll build a future and blah blah blah. Gah, I’m at risk of becoming maudlin here.

Tomorrow I will wear bright colors and walk in the Tennessee sun. There will be no unseasonable black tights, no North Face rain jackets (why do extras in this movie have umbrellas? No one in Seattle would carry an umbrella), no lamenting the loss of the SuperSonics. Look to the future in the clear light of day!

Say look, it’s my horoscope for tomorrow/today:

There are so many reasons for you to think positively about your life, so try not to focus on just the bad stuff! If you can just stop and let yourself see your life with clear eyes, you should be able to sense a new beginning coming. One that, in turn, that will give you the confidence you need to move into a new direction. Why not take a chance on someone who’s new to the scene? Add a bit of risk to your life right now, and you will embark upon a very exciting path. You’re feeling great about some new project or plan you’ve been putting into action, but you need to slow down just a bit, lest you overdo it somewhat. Just try to find a balance in your life.

Balance. Yes. As necessary and as hard to find as love.

Song for today: Labor Day – Goodness (click to download)

Author: Ajax Bell

Seattle author. Stops to smell the flowers. Amateur nerd (I wanna go pro but I haven't found anyone to pay me). Humble hippo enthusiast. queer/bi. they/them.

3 thoughts on ““I was just nowhere near your neighborhood”

  1. Hmmm… It’s kind of interesting that you watched that and were experiencing that kind of nostalgia. You see, we went to Bumbershoot on Monday, and I was kind of trying to explain to Mikailo how it USED to be, but you can’t really do that. You had to be there, but you WANT everyone to understand, and even more, you want them to have the same memories. I have been going through a whole “good ol’ days” period… A couple of weeks ago I went on CD shopping binge and two of the CD’s I got were Soundgarden’s “Louder Than Love” and Hammerbox’s album (You know, the one with “When 3 is 2” on it). Plus I keep dreaming about people from around that time period. Dan Brittingham, Shane Ashton (sorry), and just the different things we saw and felt back then.

    I don’t want to relieve it either, but it was a blast and I wish that there were more people that I currently have in my life that I could talk to about it, and have them know what I mean. Sure, people like Dan (Bamm Bamm) remember, but he remembers it differently. Sometimes I think that he remembers a lie… He remembers “Singles”, and that just ain’t the way that it was. (But, he’ll be 40 on Friday, so I don’t think that his memory is what it once was. Heh!)

    Anyway, I love you!

    (Whew! I am long-winded today!)

  2. I meant “relive”, not “relieve”. I is dum.

  3. oh the chach and lindas. fuck condos on the pike and pine arms.

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