Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Unsuperbowl and Ghosts

   Seattle was an interesting place to live in this January because everyone was Superbowl crazy! Even as a non-sports fan I was excited that the Seahawks made it to the Superbowl. But not so excited that I watched the game. Instead my friend and I had Unsuperbowl. We met downtown by Pikes Place with the expectation that the city would be empty. We both had visions of '28 days later' in our minds (except without the zombies). But when we got downtown, there were still tons of people roaming around. Most of them wearing Seahawks gear and rowdy with Superbowl excitement.
   One of the biggest tourist attractions in Seattle is Pike Place Market. It is an awesome market to have in the city, but it is also always packed. So this is why we thought Superbowl Sunday would be a perfect day to wander the market. But when we got there at 12, there were still too many hours till the game started to render the market empty. And when it got closer to 3, all the people who had shops or stands at the market were closing up to go watch the game.
  For Unsuperbowl, we didn't just stick to Pikes Place. We wondered to the waterfront to look at the Ferris Wheel and the carousel and the odd but awesome wooden statues by the waterfront.

    Downtown Seattle is full of ghosts, including Pikes Place Market. It seems like wherever I go in downtown Seattle, someone is telling me 'this place is haunted!' Maybe any city with a rich history has abundant claims of ghosts, or maybe it is something specific to Seattle that makes the belief in ghosts haunting our city more prevalent. It could be the cloudy days or the constant moisture in the air or the way the evergreen trees darken the corners of our city. Maybe it is the snow capped mountains that seem to surround us on all sides casting foreboding shadows like great hunched beasts. Maybe seeing our city constantly reflected in puddles makes us long for some faint reflection of our cities past. Maybe it is the lack of sun-darkened shadows in the winter that makes people invent their own. Or the way our breath lingers in front of us on a cold day like a miniature ghost escaped from our own body.
   I don't know if I believe in ghosts but I both like and dislike the idea of them. A mystery is irresistible and what is more mysterious then a ghost? Ghosts don't come from ordinary lives (if there is such a thing), they come from somewhere with a story and maybe a secret. But what exactly are ghosts? If they are just left over energy, that is one thing. But if they are someone's soul trapped forever in a house or a building or a time they don't belong, that sounds really sad and horrible.
  I wonder if in the future ghosts are somehow scientifically proven to be real, if there will be caring souls who start non-profit social work organizations trying to help lost souls make their safe passage to the other side. I can imagine a TV show called 'Ghost Therapists' where plucky young therapists try to coax angry or melancholy spirits to work out their unfinished business and pass to the other side. This show would definitely take place in Seattle. It would also be one of those shows where there is a lot of romantic entanglement between the various ghost therapists, and of course someone would have to fall in love with a ghost with unfinished business. 

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