The conversations and the hard look at the space between us all

I am sitting in a cafe that in every single way reminds me of FUEL on 19th in Seattle. At least, the FUEL that I used to know, back in the late 2000s. The music is super emo, the furniture spare and muted in tones (more browns than in Denmark, here in Latvia, I’m noticing), but the mood and space and color of light are very Sea-town. (Oh, but they have trams, which is nice, and a little bit of a touch of, well, something cool and different.) I had a long, weird evening the other day that started at 11.34PM. It worked on every aspect of my rigid thinking and challenged me in hard, curious, and even physical ways. I am not going to write a giant thing here, that would be stupid, and attention-grabby-seeky, which are things that irk me almost as much as ‘wefies’ on the internet that make me just very tired. More tired than zipping around from taxi to car and over bridges that have a lot of tracks underneath them and the super-state of being up in the time of night that you will run into the underbelly of the city; gritty and awkward, as it is when it is at its most vulnerable and open and lonely… Another thing that this place has in common with Seattle: a dampness and sense of heavy melancholy. I shouldn’t go too into detail here, it’s a lot to take in, especially coming from the sweat and swampy back-country of Thailand where, for half a month, I was decompressing from the box-it-in stuff that has everything to do with Japan and stuffiness and getting lost in the things that are the things that one gets lost in, and drowns, before even realizing that there is no air. Suffocation. A lot, like I said. It feels like I’m still processing Japan, and when I can’t get calm and focused, I can’t write. And here I am, at the feeling of FUEL, and I’m back at it, writing every day as I did there with that coffee and a barista, very nice, whose name I think was ‘Ryan’ who was there almost every time to make it, sharing stories about he was now this or that, and then there was a baby on the way, and then it worked out to the point that the baby was almost here, and then, I left some stuff for the baby as a little gift when I saw that he wasn’t there anymore and asked about it, and a girl who I’d never seen smiled and said the coffee was on the house and thanks, and that was when I knew it was my own time to move on from Seattle.

Seattle 2009. Writing in Seattle was mostly for a job, back in the day when I had that kind of gig, a day gig, when you go and sit every day, and by golly, some of the people I was working with seem to still be sitting there, as per the staff page of the website of the paper, and so on, and this is hard to grapple with, being a person who values, more than anything, the spirit of connecting with that which still remains, ahead, to be discovered and explored… and yet, and yet.

I had a lot more written here, but it isn’t for the public space. So I decided to cut it down, and stop here, and post the rest in a zine, one for a series, I think, to be called S P A C E | Latvia. First issue, ‘Sunny Side of the Street,’ is here.

Atelier S P A C E is a project of DK that began in Sept. 2017 and will sunset in Sept. 2019. Photo: ‘The Book of New Things’ by Dipika Kohli.