Seattle Center, built for the 1962 (?) World’s Fair, bears some common fixtures of early sixties culture. It has winding walkways and a huge mosaic amphitheater, abutting a rolling grassy field where the Bumbershoot festival is held in the summer time. It has miniature golf and rides. Everything was pretty much shut down at this late hour, so it was always the best place to find a good safe time tripping, in and over its labyrinth of features.
We were off to the center, which was close to Skoochie’s, where we knew we would end up anyway. We walked along Pine Street, down by Nordstrom, doing a circle around its whole block, giving a fair peep to each of the window mannequin displays, showing off new fashions for golf, tennis, all sports.
At each window we were taken with an unconscious and telepathic tendency to mimic the groups of mannequins, lining up like them, doing the same poses, shaping our bodies to illustrate golf swings or tennis serves and holding stiff for people honking and laughing as they drove by. After a short game of invisible basketball on the street, it was up to the Monorail track to sneak onto it and walk its length to the center. The Monorail was built for the world’s fair also, and was meant to take potential shoppers from the center to downtown to spend money, and then back to the center.
The impressive but ugly track looms along 5th avenue and stands as behemoth, imposing itself in the dark like a long armed ghoul over the long stretch of the avenue. It’s not okay with city authorities to walk on it, it isn’t legal, but no one ever noticed it being done, at least never within our immediate scope. Cops would drive right by below, scanning the streets for the infractions of inhabitants, never thinking to look above their heads.
I laugh now at what the silhouette of eight kids looked like, strolling along the track in the misty night, raven overcoats and makeup a fright, from that distance only emphasizing dark eyes and cheek bones, the scattered haze of rosy clouds over the waterfront laying our backdrop; the jagged skyline of the city holding us up like gremlins on the tips of spears, and the wet moon our lantern through the foreboding black.
“Look down at the track, there’s paisley all over it. It’s all glossy.” Tom said, with his trip toothbrush in his mouth. We looked down and told him he was tripping, there was no paisley, but in the time it would take a computer processing bar to make its left to right journey, the suggestion went into our heads with all the other circumstantial input, was manipulated by the drugs and spit out to cover the cement structure of the track beneath our feet with glossy paisley shapes. “Hey, you’re right. Look it does have paisley on it. That’s neat.” We all said. We deliberately used “uncool” words like “neat”. It was part of “our thing”.
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