Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Art Appreciation at a Ten-Minute Mile Pace

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Parenting | 0 comments

Finding something to do so I could say I was in Seattle. Part II
Seattle, Washington. August, 2013. Photo by author.

When the driver saw my daughter, he asked me if I had a child seat.

“I do. It is in the car, which I locked, and I have no keys for it.”

He said, “I’m sorry,” and left.

So far, my plan to get back to my hotel from Seattle’s Space Needle after locking my keys in the car was not working.

When we go to Mexico, we request car seats. The drivers always come up with something that looks like a child car seat but made out of coconut husk, banana leaves, and fishing line.

The last time we went, the driver told us not to worry about it because we were going close. Close was what he called an hour away, driving 110 mph with fourteen-wheelers.

When we went to Ireland, we traveled with two child car seats because the influencers said we should do that. Apparently, I’m easily influenced like the rest of the mob. Every single taxi driver looked at us like we were aliens — which is still better than being looked at as if you were English.

They all told us to hold on to the baby and let the toddler sit on her own.

But Jovie and I were now a long way from irresponsible foreign territory. We were now in Ralph Nader’s land. I pivoted and decided to stop wasting my time with consumer-protection-conscious hipsters and map my way back to the hotel with public transportation.

I remember the movie The Pursuit of Happyness having a voiceover that said, “This part of my life is called ‘Running.’” And so was this part of my life. After Google Maps told me my available options, I had to run a mile in ten minutes to get to the next bus. If I missed this bus, I would have to wait another hour, meaning I would be late for the wedding.

I put my daughter on my shoulders and started running. All these times, my daughter is thinking this is one of the funnest adventures we have ever had, and I have put on a good show to not let her know that inside, I’m testing the boundaries of my sanity and endurance.

We made it to the stop 47 seconds before the bus pulled up. I breathed a sigh of relief as I stepped on the bus. I pulled out my card to pay, but I didn’t know where to slide it, insert it, or tap it.

“Cash or card?” the driver asked.
“Card,” I said, visibly holding my card in my hand.
“No, transit card.”
“I don’t have one of those.”
“What about Venmo? Or Zelle? You want me to give you my shoes?”
“No. Just cash or card.”

Ooooh, so close!

I really thought I was going to be able to make it. It looked like my daughter, and I would have to sleep in downtown Seattle until someone could come and pick us up tomorrow when the wedding was over.

The driver must have seen my face when I looked at my daughter. He took pity on us and let us in without paying. The crowd on the bus was colorful and rowdy, but my daughter took no notice of it. She was over the moon that we were in one of those accordion buses.

Then she spent the entire ride looking out the window at the walls and facades of the buildings we were passing, which were equally colorful with graffiti and boarded-up windows.

My daughter was enthralled by what she thought was just art.

When we got off the bus stop, a sixty-year-old woman sitting at the bench, wearing very little and smoking a cigarette, came very close to Jovie, blew a puff of smoke in her face, and said, “Oh, little girl, you are so pretty!”

I told my daughter to say thank you because there is always time to be polite. I quickly slung her back on my shoulders and started running again. We were just ten minutes away from the hotel this time, and it was mostly downhill.

By the time I finally made it to the hotel, my sister was done with her hair. She picked me up and took me back to my rental.

I guess all I’m trying to say is that I made it to the wedding on time, and I have been to Seattle.


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