Hello, Wagon, Can I Get On?
Downtown is going nuts. I had dinner with friends at Le Pichet — except for a few old people, we had the place to ourselves — and the bartender kept bringing us slips of paper on which he’d written the score for us. The third time he came around, the note said: “Seattle vs. Pittsburgh, Superbowl XL.”
A young couple was leaving and just as they stepped outside the door the girl looked up into the sky and said, “I hope we lose the game” — she was one of those people — and I took the trouble to get up from my table, open the door, and lean out and say, “Actually, we just won, we’re going to the Super Bowl.” Then people starting punching their car horns and pretty much didn’t stop. A SPD car with its siren going rode past on First Avenue, breaking every couple seconds, clearly not pursuing anyone, just celebrating. A guy walked into the restaurant with his arms raised above his head. A hot, huge drunk guy walking up First Avenue said to us as we were leaving the restaurant, “Suuuuuuppperr Baaaaah-owwwwwl!.” Another came up to us and said, “Can you believe it?” and then pointed at his head and said, “Believe it!” The Sunday paper faced us from boxes on every block, with its cover story, written before the game, “Super Bowl dreaming in the City of Self-Doubt” by Stuart Eskenazi, who began with: “So here we sit, on the verge of something Super.” Outside Nordstrom, I let out a “Woo-hoo!” that was immediately echoed from several points distant. When I got to Rite Aid on Broadway, which I don’t like to go to because its employees are always surly, I confessed to the cashier that I was actually excited about Seattle going to the Super Bowl, that it made me happy that everyone was happy, that I wished we could invent more reasons for everyone in a city to be instantly, goofily happy, and she said she was happy about it too, and then she smiled, which was amazing, because historically this woman has had the personality of a garbage truck. And then I added something a friend had said (the estimable Bethany Jean Clement) earlier in the week: “I can get behind a winner.”