Chasing the Bluebird

Finding the record shop would have been a lot easier if I had just talked to the woman telling the story but I don’t have the best relationship with opportunity. It’s something I’m working on. I remember two summers ago I was sitting in a bar in Capitol Hill, having a beer with a friend. The door was open, letting the warm summer evening air in, and I saw I saw an older, transient looking guy walking past. There was something about him that caught my attention, something unique and interesting about him. He looked at me and we had a brief moment of eye contact. There was a momentary feeling of connection. In that brief moment he immediately changed direction and marched into the bar and sat at a table nearby. I will never forget how quickly he changed course. I don’t know what it was the passed between us but he acted on it immediately. The world whispered possibility and he answered instantly, no hesitation. But I was not so decisive. I hesitated. I thought about buying him a drink and asking to hear his story but instead I sat and thought about whether I should. He sat with his drink and I sat with my friend. After he left I remember the staff talking about him, that they’d been unsure whether to let him in, but that he’d payed in cash. And this is all I will ever know about him.

It’s funny how even the minor characters in your life can change its course so drastically. That old man is one of the untold stories that made me start this storytelling project of mine. I think about him sometimes. I wonder who he was and where he’d been. I wonder what he might have told me if I’d talked to him. And I’m trying to be more like him, to listen for the little whispers of something that might be. Or someone I might meet. I’m trying to follow possibility until she takes me to a story. I’m getting better, although I still hesitate a lot. I didn’t ask the woman in the crumpet shop to tell me her story, but now I’m seeking it out.

So I went to Enumclaw. I wandered into a coffee shop with incredibly pleasant staff but a horrifyingly sweet “lavender latte.” The thing was more sugar than I’d had in two weeks. But they point me towards a music store in the hopes that they might know more. The guy in the music store is clearly not interested in stories or writing, but was very sweet to the kids coming in looking at clarinets and flutes and saxophones. Eventually after much inane questioning of surprisingly patient strangers, I wander into a bar for a much-earned beer. After asking the waitress about the record shop (to no avail) I end up striking up a conversation with the two guys sitting next to me. They remember it. Such is life.

The shop closed a long time ago, sometime in the 90’s, and much longer ago than I had suspected. One of the guys I talked to used to buy comics there, and remembered Dana, the owner. It took them a while, but they finally remembered the name of the shop. I finally have a name. Bluebird Music. And with a name, I was able to find a picture of this elusive place. I tried to contact the owner of this Flickr account but haven’t gotten a response, so I’ll just link to the photos I found.

So I’ve made some progress. It’s small progress, but hey, at least I’m moving in the right direction. Also, I have good news. I’ve finally upgraded from an iPhone 4 to a 6, so they quality of my own pictures is going to make a big leap up. Woohoo! I’m inserting a random photo now to demonstrate.