Olympia by Wendy C. Ortiz in Cranky, Issue 5, May 2005, Seattle, WA --Glacial marinas cap one part of town. When driving down the westside hill, where I monthly took to clogging its one strongest artery with a battery of friends on bikes, you can look across the glinty light of the speckled waters and bobbing yachts and boats to see the slinky caterpillar of electric lamps coming down that other, the eastside hill. And so we puncture the heart the way the wind slaps our lungs—hard enough so that it’s hard to breathe. Slipshod traffic circles, tipsy drivers and teetotaling dogwalkers inhabit this labyrinth. Another body of water, still, cold, lays to your right. Its far end is a host to hot writhing bodies past midnight, bodies who fly under the radar of surveillance cameras and who are strangely partial to goosebumps in secret places. If I fling you further past, you will land on the wooden bridge and start trotting the path that didn’t used to be there when I moved to this locus—my first memories are of the red gold leaves, that exquisite unattainable carpet. The days I fell in love with this type of exotica. But get back in here with me where it’s warm. Your cheeks are flush. We like that. Down, down, level ground and the curdling scent of old ocean, fish brew, and salt air slaps you once again. A renegade fountain blasts through cement (in summer, you ran in its shower like all the other children, shrieking) and if it’s late, the red cyclops eye of the stoplight winks monotonously ten p.m to six a.m. I will not detour to the people who change so often anyway. The road, as we cut over, turns into a one way, focused, the route we are called upon to follow and it leads up and up and up, enough so that those days when the incline made you sweat flash their heated memory in your shy calf muscles. Fire department, there. Hot tub seller, yonder. Tax man and bicyle shop, and on the crest, the plateau we push onto, the sex shop, the co-op, and the invisible borders of Lacey--

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