Division Mind

Dear J-

In my mind I’m still making those late-night trips down Division — this before they split it into one-way streets in order to relieve traffic before they (assuming they ever do) put in a north-south freeway to put a permanent end to the charm. Remember of course that you could tell how close we were to I-90 (and therefore home) just by seeing which businesses you were passing at the moment — Wheelsmith and White Elephant, not so much; Arby’s a little closer; Red Lion closer yet. I watched the neon signs through sleep-blurred eyes drinking it all in hungrily, waiting for Frankie Doodle’s to light the way back.

It was something I found peculiar to Spokane as I’ve gone through life in different parts of this country; there are other places — Sacramento comes to mind — where you can take long trips along business-lined arterials if you want to, but none where you actually have to. It was inconvenient and certainly not world-class, but it’s how I learned dead-reckoning via landmark (“Yes, just past the Yoke’s, you can’t miss it.”), a skill that’s amply repaid itself in years past.

We spent the morning wandering around a park (Overfelt Gardens — we initially thought about Alum Rock Park but we tipped towards Overfelt because of the Chinese influence), figgy avoiding various traps (the fountains were off and the sleepy geese were warned off by her heavy tread). It’s how I think parks should be — manicured, tree-lined, and planned; we have city parks in San Diego but none I’ve been to with quite the same mix of water, vegetation, and structures. No playground, though, but the wealth of trails kept her busy; once again I rethink what I see in San Jose although the overcrowded buffet lunch we went to makes me believe the tastes aren’t perfectly in sync yet.


Oh, by the way, my perfect (for two years, at least) record for multi-day trips is still intact, but instead of the plunger everyone else gives me, my dad handed me a drain snake and a knife for my toilet fight. Are there crocodiles here or what?


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