Amazon Spheres 2018: After Dark


Well, yesterday was my third visit this year to the Amazon Spheres: first was with Uncle David and Mary Ann, Claudia and Dylan back in mid-May; second was just a month ago, with Danielle and her friend Elise, from her work.

Yesterday was more like last night: I had already intended to come back after dark, after the May visit; the November visit was an added bonus semi-spontaneously bringing me into the fold when reservations Danielle already had were available to transfer to me when another friend wound up unable to make it. I still hope to make reservations later this week for yet a fourth visit in January, to go with Laney -- who I had originally intended to go with yesterday, but we sort of got our communications criscrossed and she had other plans.

I asked Danielle if she wanted to come back after dark, and she said yes. Even Shobhit expressed interest this time, thinking they might have it decked out with Christmas lights. I doubted they would, but still kind of hoped -- fairly predictably given the nature of the space, they did not. But, that's okay! I really enjoyed being there at night. I felt like I was inside a space ship.

So anyway, I also made reservations for Morgan and Rylee, but they were with their dad this weekend, so Danielle just drove up from Renton by herself, and the three of us went down. We were going to walk, but it was kind of wet today, and so we drove instead. Even after I parked Shobhit's car on the street (in a parallel spot so tight I was damn proud of myself for how well I managed it) and had Danielle park in our space, we still went down in her van so we wouldn't lose the street spot.

Turns out, at least for now, evening parking in the garage in the "Doppler" tower of the Amazon Headquarters is free, so that worked out well. And we went on to our 5pm reservation, giving us one hour before they closed.

You can click here for the full photo album on Flickr. And I recommend it! I finished the captioning on all the photos today, and many of them link to their daytime counterpart shots from the previous visits.

There's another space in the Spheres called The Understory, which I only learned yesterday is a free public exhibit giving background on the design. Why didn't I ask about this during any of the previous couple of visits? I kept thinking it was some kind of club or restaurant or something. Well, we had no time to go look at it before it all closed down at 6:00 yesterday -- but! Being the fourth time I go when I return next month, at least this will give me something new to see (and perhaps get pictures of) next time. I think four visits in eight months will be plenty to hold me over for some time after that.

We were going to bring Danielle back home for dinner, but she said she wanted to go out. After quite a while of deliberation about where to go, we finally settled on a Thai place we found on Yelp in the Central District called Cherry Street Thai. I really should have gotten a box for half my meal, but that pineapple fried rice was so fucking good I cleaned my plate clean. We all did -- even Shobhit, even though he was least impressed with his dish.

After that we did still come back to our place. I made chai, and Danielle helped Shobhit run through lines from sides for an audition he went to this morning. He also made Danielle feel a little awkward several times during her visit, due to his short fuse with me, getting really angry for no particularly good reason. More than once she had to tell him not to yell in her car because it stresses her out while she's driving.

I don't especially want to get into minute details about it all right now, and I only mention it because I'm not comfortable making it seem like everything was great yesterday when it wasn't. I will say, though, that we processed some of it in bed this morning (in conversation -- I don't mean that as a euphemism or anything) and I do think we're both on better terms today.

One of the issues is the Christmas lights, which he finds distracting and doesn't like having the window blinds open when he might be sitting in the living room in his underwear. This was never a problem in the past, but Shobhit, while finally talking to me this morning in a civil manner rather than like a lunatic as he did yesterday, made some relatively eye-opening points: in the three years we had Christmases in this condo before he moved to New York, he worked far longer hours and was not home all evening every night; he also did not have as much concern about people seeing in through the windows because the other residential building directly across the street had not yet been constructed. And then, when he came back to visit each December while living elsewhere for the Christmases between 2010 and 2015, he was only ever here for a week or so.

And, I suppose, the duration of time I have these decorations up is a lot: from the day after Thanksgiving to the day after New Year's, generally. Nevertheless, it's a huge part of my life, my interests, and arguably even my identity to do this every year. I was so annoyed by Shobhit's insistence on turning the Christmas lights off last night that, when I woke up at 6 a.m. this morning and it was still well before sunrise, I went out to the living room and turned them on so I could enjoy them for about an hour while Shobhit slept. I even ate my breakfast out there, and I usually do that at my desk in the bedroom.

It was when I crawled back into bed for a bit around 7:00 that the conversation started. One of the things I told him was, when I was growing up, I always loved Christmas, but at home with Mom, we did not always get to have a Christmas Tree, much as I always wanted one. I told Shobhit, "I always said when I grew up I would always have a Christmas Tree. And I feel like you're trying to take that away from me."

In any case, once we talked this morning, I think we both understood each other better. I sure as shit wish Shobhit could learn to commumicate effectively at the start -- say, yesterday -- instead of kick-starting right into Asshole Mode. Today was better, and he even turned on the Christmas lights this evening himself, while I was in the bedroom captioning photos. On the flip side, when I was done with dinner and ready to return to the bedroom for the rest of the evening, I turned the Christmas lights off, even though it was only about 8pm.

At least I feel like we're starting to get somewhere. I have long felt we would benefit from couples therapy, which is something he has always resisted. He volunteered something this morning that could be seen as a compromise, though: "Should we take a relationship class again?" We took one years ago; I had nearly forgotten. I was struck by his even offering that as a possibility. So I said, "Maybe." We'll see whether that goes anywhere. All I can say for sure is we're in a better place today than we were yesterday. That's progress for now, anyway, and I'll take what I can get.

[posted 8:53 pm]