Total Recall

Memoirs of a Downward Facing Dog

So the truth is, shit is starting to get cray.

I have been living in Seattle for the past month, filling in teaching at Modo Yoga Seattle.

That is not the strange part.

But since having been here, there are a lot of doo-doo, doo-doo, (cue Twilight music now) things that have happened to make me shake my head and snap to attention.

Let me give you the back story: I lived in Seattle from age five to age ten, at which point we moved about an hour and a half north to Bellingham, Washington. We left Bellingham when I was sixteen and moved to Massachusetts, which I hated. (Who likes changing schools at 16?) I graduated a semester early from high school and high-tailed it back to Seattle when I was only 18. At one juncture in my crazy life trajectory, which I can’t fully remember without drawing myself a detailed map, I moved back to Bellingham sometime in my twenties.  Capiche?

Last week, while driving to the bank on my day off, I passed Aurora Avenue, a busy North-South thoroughfare here in Seattle. I remembered that I had lived just off of Aurora Avenue as a child because we had this blonde, bat-shit-crazy-dog-from-hell-rescue-mutt that used to bolt out the front door the minute you opened it. Buff would run as if his fur was on fire and head straight for Aurora Ave, which we’d inevitably have to make chase before he got smashed into a creamy, buttermilk-Buff-pancake.

Not knowing my old address, but with time on my hands and only memory in my back pocket, I set out to find my childhood home.

I knew that we lived north on Aurora. Somewhere after 80th and before 200th street. And the only landmark I can remember was a Park n Ride across the street from our cul-de-sac. We used to take our sleds and bikes down the hill and cruise around when all of the 9-5 ‘ers had made their daily commute, picked up their cars and gone home for the day.

Travelling north, I passed 145th, then 165…and at 185th street, I passed a Fred Meyer on the left. (Fred Meyer is a west-coast department store chain much like Canadian Tire.) An everything store. At the moment I passed 185th street, a vivid dream I’d had 3 or 4 years ago was instantly recalled.

The store in the dream looked nothing like an actual Fred Meyer, with all of its garish lights, and bad, living-room furniture sets…this store looked more like your average dark, po-dunk, all-purpose general store. But in the dream, I knew that the name of the store was, in fact, Fred Meyer, even though when I’d had that dream I’d been living in Canada for 8 years and hadn’t seen a Fred Meyer in something like forever.

In the dream, the store was right across the street from the childhood house I was searching for. Not to mention, I had not had any recollection of this dream until the minute I passed that 185th street Fred Meyer, when it all came rushing back.

I knew I was close.

And sure enough, at 192nd street, there on my left was a Park n Ride, a hill and an entrance to a cul-de-sac that was all too familiar. I turned left on 192nd, and then right onto my old cul-de-sac at Whitman Ave N. Of course that was the name of my address—how could I forget??

I proceeded to park in front of the house like a Say Anything stalker, minus the boom-box, but still taking creepy pictures from the confines of my Honda.

At some point, I decided I might look crazy and figured it was time to go home. Choosing to take the highway back, I turned down 175th street, which was a busy, hill-like street not unlike the one I’d just come from. In a split second, out of the corner of my eye, I barely see a blonde streak, and instantly–WHUMP!!!—a giant, metal-crunching sound hit the front of my car.

HOLY SHIT!!!

Instantly, I look in my rear-view mirror, and a beige dog leaps up a stone-wall embankment and runs into the woods.

Not even five minutes after I found a childhood home based on the memories of this sandy-colored dog, a street, and a dream and then a blonde fucking mutt runs into traffic and hits the side of my car—so hard that I could barely open the drivers’ side door!

I spent an hour running around the neighborhood looking for the dog, but to no avail.

It wasn’t dead.
It wasn’t wounded.
It was nowhere.
A Ghost Dog.
It was as if the dog just vanished. Like some crazy glitch in the Matrix.

But stay with me folks. It gets weirder.

Last night, while bored and doing some late-night Christmas shopping at Macy’s, because only in consumerist America do department stores stay open until midnight during the holiday season.

As I walked up to the cashier, the guy at the counter instantly says, “You look familiar.” I snapped out of my retail-therapy bubble and looked at his face and said, “YOU look familiar.”

We exchanged 20 questions for ten minutes about who we were, where we’re from, until finally—voila! Turns out he was my downstairs neighbor in Bellingham when I’d lived there back in my twenties some sixteen-ish-odd years ago. We used to party on the porch. He dated my sisters’ best friend.

His name?? Whitman.

….doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo…..just like the name of my childhood street.

There’s been a lot of heaviness in my life recently. A lot of weight, insecurity, doubt and unease. And it’s easy to get caught up in those dark, serious stories that pull you down. It’s easy to take for granted the people, scenarios, relationships and opportunities that give you the chance to be better.

Memories are strange. Dreams are significant. Coincidences matter.

And sometimes it only takes a few solitary moments to snap you into attention and remind yourself:

You are meant to be here.

 

 

 

 

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