How to Win Friends and Influence People (when you don't even know your own zip code)

You might think that a library is a really good place to meet friends, but it isn't. I visited Seattle's main Public Library yesterday - a dizzying structure made of glass and steel - mostly glass. I somehow found my way to the 10th floor through a series of stairs that felt like a rat maze. At the top I looked down over the low railing at the people in the 2nd floor lobby. I felt kind of nauseous. A lady was waiting for the elevator nearby. "This is a dizzy building," I remarked to her.

"I can't wait to get back to solid ground." She agreed.

"I think I might puke," I said.

But thankfully I didn't. She was the only person I spoke to in the library. Everyone else was too busy reading. I went downtown and talked to the guy in the information booth in front of Pike Place Market. "Hi," I said. "I'm new to Seattle and I don't know anybody and I don't have any idea where I am or what I'm doing."

He took pity on me and gave me all of the Seattle literature and explained the map of Seattle to me in detail. So at least now I have a map.

The library actually isn't the worst place to meet friends. If you stay in your room and read in bed all afternoon like I did today (except for a brief excursion to Whole Foods, where I bought "organic bath tissue") you are guaranteed to not meet anybody. It was great reading-in-bed weather though, and I had stocked up on books at the library.

Now I think I'm going to head downtown because Greyhound just called to tell me to come pick up my box as soon as possible. Apparently the box is leaking strange fluids. Hopefully it's not bike lube. Or art supplies...