Sep 9, 2006

AMERICAN SPIRIT
SEATTLE, Washington: I have a ten-day turnaround between Norway and Honduras: not even time to unpack properly. Racing the clock, I
upend the suitcase in the walk-in closet. A problem for another day.

No, another month.

I try to remember to be here, not merely treat home like a pit-stop. I sneak a few visits with friends. I run along Puget Sound, inhaling the last of the summer's sunsets. I linger outside the corner store to admire the neighborhood's finest four-square of signs: 12-packs of Bud, American Spirit smokes, frozen herring and nightcrawlers.

Only in Ballard...

Ya, you betcha.

But mainly I work and work and work. The gig – translating a Greek phrasebook for Thomas Cook – is especially mind-bending. Never mind that I don't speak the language all that well. Ever tried to touch-type in a foreign alphabet?

I file the 100-page manuscript three minutes before leaving the house.

Talk about a photo finish.

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