The air giggles, full of cherry blossoms and the shouts of college girls buying next season's $20 flip-flops. From under cover of cadet hats, the hipsters stop sulking and are peeking around corners with shy smiles. They are in American Apparel in big sunglasses, nervously tickling the hot pants.

Broadway smells like incense and doughnuts today, the smoke of one-hitters and pedophiles' cigarette bribes,
and there was a time when I was young.

Magic Dragon, glitter jasmine-scented lotion, handfuls of beads like cheap glass candy, shoplifted cassette tapes -- (it was a long time ago).

We are all owed our summer romance on Capitol Hill. School lets out and the newest teenagers, tall girls tailed by stumpy, smooth-faced boys, go trailing self conscious laughter, waving to-go cups and swinging accessory-sized shopping bags. At night the hipsters and gay couples with tight jeans in the right rinse shake their wet hair and laugh, jaded looking into the sunset. The shopgirls crowd at bus stops back to First Hill or Lake City, an IHOP International Breakfast for dinner, French stripes, Swiss dots, American thighs. The gutter punks wash in and out with the rain. Always someone coming and going, always a crowd to watch through the window of the falafel place, always a buzz in the air and hang out for a few hours, you might find out where the party's at.

Dick's: the retro Boeing-era heart crushed between condos and tacky storefronts is the popular girl who was nice to everyone. Did you walk by Dick's and no one was there? No you didn't, stop lying. Deluxe, Special, cheeseburger, hamburger. Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry.
No substitutions.

It's my street, my summer. I've got it going on in those boots, I do what I want. If the American Apparel display alerts us that fashion has changed again, my apartment is two blocks away. My bags don't swing, paper pouches in the wrong size, giant pet food or birth control in its red and blue clutch. I don't hang out at Magic Dragon. Much. At ten I go out, push through U District imports, drink on Pike/Pine where the jukeboxes are good.

2am shines its light on the world and we are pushed outdoors. Elitists and tourists, what say you? It's too warm to go home. We queue up in serpentine lines outside the drive-in.
In the summertime, I eat a lot of Dick's.

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