Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another Seattle Story

I was walking around Atlantic Highlands when I noticed one of those wooden flower carts. You know the ones you see outside of flower shops with the big wheels? Anyway, seeing that without the flowers reminded me of something that happened to me in Seattle back in 1993.

Back in the day, sigh. Seattle was the scene man! I was fortunate to see much of it first hand. By 1993, New York had finally caught on to what was happening and the scene was in its last throes. One of the things that was great was that there was many free outdoor concerts that featured many of the local bands of various degrees of success performing.

One of my favorites was Duffy Bishop. She was a bluesy musician in the Janis Joplin vein. I was watching her perform at Volunteer Park and enjoyed the performance. After her show, I realized that I was close to Lake View Cemetery. This is where Bruce Lee is buried. It also is where Brandon Lee is buried whose death had occurred a few months before. I decide to pay vigilance.

I walked over wondering if I could possibly find it. It wasn't hard. There was a worn out trail that led to it. Bruce's headstone was large and elaborate but Brandon's had not been finished and his ground was soft. I was there for a minute when I heard two people approaching.

It was two men, a skinny man with stringy hair and a worn out "trucker" hat pushing another man in one of those flower carts I was talking about. The man in the cart had some sort of Phocomelia that left him almost no body parts lower than his waist. He was sloppily attired too, but by far was the more articulate of the two.

I was uncomfortable of course but more for the fact that I thought there would be some pan handling involved since the Capital Hill district is a notorious beggar's oasis. But they were fans of Bruce Lee, able to recite snibits of dialogue from his films. We talked a bit along with another stranger about the shame that was Brandon's death while filming the Crow. the advantage of talking by a grave is I didn't have to worry about rudeness in not looking face to face with the man in the cart. Like I said the man was articulate, so the conversation went well, I turned my head occasionally an noticed that he had to have a colostomy bag, no mind you, since the poor guy had to be pushed in a flower cart he had to have a makeshift colostomy bag. It was basically a network of tubes and plastic bags. I can just imagine how he's doing now.

Anyway, they left after about ten minutes, I watched them go down the hill. It was an interesting sight to say the least. I turned in the other direction because one of my favorite Seattle bands, the Posies were playing. I tried to forget what I saw, but I grew up Catholic, which means I feel a sense of shame for thinking that way.

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