Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Seattle: I've been in Seattle less than thirty hours, but I can't believe how much ground I've covered. Five interviews, eight stock signings, a dinner with family, two constructive meetings and a kick-ass reading. Now that it's all passed, I'll be flying out of here in an hour and a half to land in Portland, the last leg of the latest book tour.

I lived in Seattle for five years, and returning now is the first time that I feel distance from here--when I last visited in December it still felt like a kind of home, but now it is much further away. After months of constant exposure to New York's scale and speed, Seattle seems a little quaint and tamed--it's hard to believe this is the same city that intimidated me when I moved here in 1996.

I kept dreaming of moving back here today, buying a house on Bainbridge Island by simply spending the ridiculous amount I do on rent for a mortgage payment, then taking a ferry into town whenever I want a dose of culture and living in some degree of silence, with the water and the trees. I'm being a little silly--I think the attraction is that I could then simply remain an author, and not have to perform anymore, which right now sounds like a fantastic vacation from my life. Truth is, I would last about a week.

Over a hundred people were at the Elliot Bay reading, overfilling the room and really welcoming me back to Seattle. We had a great time--I riffed on a variety of subjects, some old friends and some brand new. The interplay was fun, and I read a couple of text sections I was really happy with--it was a real pleasure to get such an incredibly warm reception before a hometown crowd.

After the reading we sojourned up to The Rosebud, one of my old haunts on Capitol Hill, and much drinking ensued. Considering it was a Monday folks gave as good as they got--a bunch of us made it to closing, and I was touched by the friends and family who stayed late to say hello and chat with me. Staying out late with old friends cost me all my sleep today, but it was worth it to reconnect with so many folks. I didn't realize what a rich man I was before today--after months and months of hard work, I'd forgotten how many people cared. I hope I get to keep my dual citizenship between NYC and Seattle.