A Black Hole in Emerald City
Creeping on Kurt Cobain's house
When you think about traveling, the thought tends to bring more of an anxiety attack than excitement. You think about where you want to go, how much it's going to cost, where you're going to stay, how long you can take off of work, things to do, and if you'll have enough time to do everything you want because who knows when you'll be back to this destination. But then there are the people like me who pick somewhere that seems cool and just pick up and go. Money will always figure itself out, and why not go for a day or three rather than sit around and wish you could because of this excuse or that excuse?
One April morning, I headed out to Seattle, Wash. and it was only a one night stay. The flight was a rough 5am flight that had a connection in Las Vegas, Nev. that left my actual flying time at a rough four hours. Why was I on my way to Seattle, you may ask? There was no real reason, I had the opportunity and that was enough to get on a plane. Have ticket, will travel. I had no set plans for when I got there, honestly.
After arriving, I spent half of the night in the hotel room eating pizza and watching “Law and Order” and falling in and out of sleep but waking myself up with gross burps from the orange soda I'd also consumed. I wasn't up for hardcore exploring after a short five hours of sleep and a long flight, but I ventured out into Seattle, had myself some coffee from the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market (which is Downtown, for those who don't know), and walked on a small boardwalk that had a ferris wheel on it. I felt constant plume of regret breeze across my skin, stemming from the fact that I wore shorts and forgot I wasn't in the desert anymore.
I ate at the Hardrock Cafe and got to end dinner by watching a drunk guy get carried out by two of his friends at 8pm. The night was still young and since I didn't do my research about Seattle, I ran out of ideas but I didn't want to go back to the hotel just to watch more “Law and Order.” And then it hit me, why not look for the house of the legendary Kurt Cobain? You know, the one he lived in before he died. I immediately had to do it.
I had the plan, I just didn't realize that it was actually going to take three hours to accomplish because my GPS is probably the worst pre-installed app to ever come on a cell phone. It took me everywhere else except where I wanted to be in the first place. I mean, I never even thought I'd find myself driving up and down a few blocks in the dead of night, looking for a house that I thought was going to bring me some sort of revelation to my angsty adolescent days to begin with. The neighborhoods that I got lost in all felt and looked the same. They were slightly weathered from all the rain and humidity, but were surrounded by trees and bushes that looked like one of those photoshopped pictures that is enhanced to make it seem like you have better photography skills than you actually do.
After getting lost in three different neighborhoods, I ended up in a quiet suburb. It was dark, and the property had that haunted feeling that crawls across the back of your neck. It sat on what felt like an island as the neighborhood was surrounded by the ocean and faced directly toward the heart of Emerald City.
As I sat there, a small red car pulled up and passed through the gate of what use to be Cobain's house. I stared at what was probably the owner, so anxious that this was even a real thing. I was 97% sure I was going to throw up. I mean, what's the big deal, right? He was just a regular guy who I only wanted to be like when I was a teenager because I thought that would make me cool. But looking at his house, it seemed like reality was altered. I've never had such a surreal feeling before. I gazed out at the house, then got out of the car to take a picture once the owner's car was completely beyond the gates. In a fog of angst and nostalgia, I somehow forgot how to take a picture on my phone and that I was in the dark and needed the flash on. When I excitedly jumped back in the car and looked at the picture ,it literally looked like a black hole. Just like Cobain left in my heart when he died. Perfect.