Thursday, July 04, 2002

After the fights Kevin and I walked through the downtown Olympic Park, the strange mass of international tourists, the tents and kiosks with pins and other souvenirs. We looked for a place to drink but everything was crowded and awful so we took the monorail out of the neighborhood. We got out and walked up a steep pedestrian street with young street life, musicians and people sitting in the middle of the pavement watching. We walked across a big empty green bordered by office buildings and lit by just a few lamps and there was no one in sight.

On Friday, my last day, we went into town in the car and ate breakfast at a chic café, the kind with wooden chairs and flowers and everything written on a chalkboard. We had parked in a cul-de-sac near steps that led down a steep hill facing the city and someone put the baby down on the top of the steps and I took a picture of her from above and beside her on the pavement there was a junkie's discarded needle.

We drove around more, went to Kate's parents house again, went to a great big shopping center out in the country somewhere with a long escalator up to the supermarket. The aisles and aisles of packaged food, the weary people stopping on the way home from work, the inescapable light, it always makes experience immediately mundane. I strained for evidence that this was still exotic in some minute way, as I was far, far away from home, but I could not, and felt hollow and tired, infected with the petty melancholy of something idly pleasant reaching its end; like a child on a Sunday night.