Thursday, April 14, 2011

Talking Fish in Bearnaise Sauce

The view from the front yard. "Feels like" 41 degrees. Raining. Hard.
As some of you know, we moved to Seattle because of a talking salmon.  And, no, that’s not some breed of wild salmon, like Coho or King, or anything else you might find tossed around to the delight of tourists at Pike Place Market. I mean an actual talking salmon.  
It was late spring, which is the time of year when smart-alecky objects or animals sometimes come to me in a dream and suggest ways to make my life more interesting and/or difficult. Years before, a talking Volkswagen van told me in a dream to move to Berlin. (I did. It was fun.)
The next time this happened, it was a salmon. And he told me to move to Seattle. We were underwater, the salmon and I. Just chillaxin’. Having a cup of underwater coffee, the way you do with your prophetic home-fish in dreams. Oddly, he sounded a lot like Rodney Dangerfield, and, if memory serves, he had a lot of nonsensical one-liners. Something about an asparagus who walks into a bar with a toaster oven... You'll have to trust me, but it seemed hilarious at the time.

In retrospect, the whole Seattle thing might not have been intended as a revelation. Maybe it was just a punch line? (Much like Germans, dream-fish have a very odd sense of humor.) Still. I didn't care. When I woke up from the dream, my mind was made up. I woke Paul up, and told him the news.
"We have to move to Seattle!" I said.

His eyes remained shut. "Can it wait till after breakfast?"

Earlier that month, we'd found out we were being evicted from our apartment, as the owners had sold the building. We had grown accustomed to living a half a block from Central Park, where we had a “rent stabilized” apartment (i.e., they can only charge a small fortune, instead of a king’s ransom). It was 2007, at the top of the rental market, and everything was expensive. I remember looking at a tiny “one-bedroom” (read: studio w/walk-in closet) apartment on the Upper West Side that was $3,400 a month. It had a dorm-sized refrigerator. I am not joking.  
As much as the dream of the talking salmon, the move to Seattle was prompted by a dream of an adult-sized refrigerator. But not the talking kind.
Seattle is a very lovely place, and there are a lot of good things about living here. However, on days like today, I want to find the talking salmon and serve him up in a nice bearnaise sauce.
It’s cold. Rainy. Gray. The kind of April day when Kurt Cobain offed himself.
“Stupid talking salmon…” Paul mutters. He checks the weather in L.A., where it’s in the 70s and sunny. Shooting me a look, he makes what I call the Marge Simpson Growl.
I think he’s hoping a talking pair of fake boobs will come to me in a dream, and whisper, “Move to Los Angeles…. Move to Los Angeles…”


  1. Ha! You are too much.

    We were going to look at this house Sunday:
    Only to find out that someone has already put an offer on it....
    Morgen and I are going to vacation in June, but maybe later in the fall we should come and visit you guys. Like I said, Morgen just got here so, we have no plans to leave the area anytime soon, but since the Mom & Dad thing, I have no real ties to be here anymore. Maybe I need to see what is out there, rain or shine!!

  2. Meredith, you should totally come visit! Ideally before October, when Seattle turns into Mordor from Lord of the Rings for about six months. But summers are awesome, and y'all are always welcome chez nous!!