The PVP Diaries #24

Update 4-15

Don’t even think about hitting the double digits tomorrow. That supple little ‘4’ from the other day had a sexy swagger to it, dontcha think?


We laugh, right? No, wait, this is definitely a crying situation. Or we cry while we’re laughing:

If repair is possible, under a “best case” scenario we do not anticipate the bridge reopening in 2020 or 2021.

Two years, minimum, without the bridge. I think it’s fair to set the over/under at about three years – say, opening July 2023. I’ll be the optimist and take the under. What say you? Look, I don’t leave West Seattle very often anyway, and almost never via the bridge. Most of my off-peninsula obligations lay to the south (and it’s pretty much all soccer). But this means that going south is going to be murder, because there is really only one viable route over to the city side of things, and it’s a series of very small roads – one lane each direction – with poor signal control and pretty much no room. But anyway, without going on for too long about it, things are going to be absolute madness when the lockdown lifts and everyone starts going back to work. I can’t wait to see the views from the traffic helicopters on the first full-commute morning without the bridge.


You can, perhaps, see where there might be a bit of a problem. That West Seattle Bridge has (oops, had, haha) anywhere from 4 to 7 lanes total for traffic, depending on what segment you’re on, including a bus only lane. If you look at the map there, on the lower left is the Fauntleroy-Southworth-Vashon ferry terminal. That’s where I live. Fauntleroy Way is going to suddenly see a comical amount of traffic twice a day. And it’s not just the commute, is it? That bridge is (was, Andy, was) full of cars any time of day, so it’s staggering to think how the bulk, the weight, the mass of traffic is now going to be worn by this body of land.

The car haters are, of course, loving this little Pyrrhic Victory. I could go on, but I don’t have the energy to pick apart the absurdities in their sweeping, presumptuous statements about how absolutely everyone should be biking or busing. 427 comments on the post at the West Seattle Blog as of this writing. It won’t stop soon. Most of them are calling for public hangings to be resumed, because of course every time you fire a public official, a new piece of modern infrastructure pops up just where you need it. Some of the rest of the commenters are gloating over the coming carpocalypse. Just a few saying “well, this sucks, but at least I didn’t plummet to my death from a collapsing bridge.” Whatever’s left is just one person saying sarcastically to another “I can’t wait to hear where you got your engineering degree.” Overall, it’s a level of dysfunction that baffles me.


I’ve started and stopped a few different concluding moves here, but couldn’t settle on anything. Sometimes – maybe it’s conscience, maybe it’s vanity, maybe it’s just the critical hiss of tires on a distant road – but something sometimes stays the hand while still letting it stumble on in an impotent Parkinsonian pantomime. Soundless fury – significance hunting.

I was going to say something about
the love we have for our part in a tragedy.

How it’s as if we’re giddily collecting material for our deathbed soliloquies, thrilled at the prospect of mining unearned respect
from stories of exaggerated woe

As We Lay Dying.

We mark them –
the pities,
this plague –

and it’s this marking that fuels our gruesome conceit.

Don’t let me lay dying and recall for posterity the Spring I never left home.


In an effort to wrap it up tonight, I went to look at naïve haircuts. I don’t have a name for the poet who runs the place, but the poems are always striking and unique. And in the world of poetry, let me just tell you, uniqueness is rarer than whale oil, and harder to harverst. The most recent post mentioned a song, so of course I had to listen to it, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t hit the right spot for me out here on the porch in the slowsprung dark of Wednesday night in April. The wind is light – my god so light that I move my cheek against it like a cat. There is no plague. Nothing is sick. A bashful car drives by slightly sideways with its eyes lowered. I can hear the raccoons coming out from behind the house.


Your “Homeless in Coronafornia” update for today:

I just found a fifty on the ground
Laundry time!

How wonderful for him. That’s gotta feel so good. But he also said that the Domino’s he walks by several times a day has just shut down because an employee tested positive. He swears up and down that he had the virus 2 weeks ago. No way to know for sure.

That’s not what “unabridged” means, Comrade Citizen!—

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