Kathleen Cain began her career in Seattle writing and producing documentaries and talk shows for television and radio. She hosted a two-hour interview program on the notorious KRAB FM, was a contributing editor for late, great Seattle Weekly, and a writer/creative director at the legendary Heckler Associates for many years before starting her own communications consulting firm, Cain Creative.
One evening, when I was maybe nine years old, we were in Spokane having dinner at another family’s house and one of their children pushed his plate of asparagus away and declared to his mother, “I hate vegetables.” Appalled by his ignorance, I shot him a look of withering scorn and said, “Asparagus is not a vegetable. It’s a weed.”
I’ve been to weddings and wakes, birthday celebrations and baby showers, poetry readings and photography exhibitions and flamenco fandangos at Café Paloma. Without a doubt, the place is unique and special. It’s like no other place in the city. But now the pandemic has come to town and closed it down.
I am not joking when I say that those cable news sets remind me of horror movies. I keep expecting someone wearing a hockey goalie’s mask to sneak up on the pundit in question and strangle him or slash his throat. And depending on who the pundit is, I sometimes kind of root for it.
Like most of us, I have been working remotely for the past few weeks, but since I earn my living as a writer, I work remotely anyway. However, under quarantine, it feels different. Like, more remote. Like house arrest.
Except for my my closest friends and family, very few others are aware of my handwashing mania. I married someone who is such a germaphobe that even I think he’s a little bit crazy, so that’s never been a problem.
Here’s the most important thing I learned about Freeman Dyson in the time that I knew him. Although he obviously spent a good deal of time inside his remarkable mind, he was also profoundly interested in the world around him. Nothing seemed too small or insignificant to spark his sense of wonder and amusement and empathy.