What do you write about in the tower?
The history of colonization in Seattle and the changes to the landscape. I became really interested in the unseen world of Seattle—what non-Duwamish people think of as supernatural but the Duwamish people think of as spiritual.
Are you a part of the Duwamish Tribe?
No, I’m not. I’m from the Cowlitz Tribe.… I know the weight of representations and how important it is to get them right.
What’s it like up there?
People are all around. I can always see people. Right now I see people on the sidewalk, I see a police boat. There’s cars just constantly driving by, there’s people from the Google offices. There’s a bridge operator who calls me every time there’s going to be a bridge opening.
When I want to use the restroom I go under the bridge; that’s why they gave me a hard hat. There’s these catwalks and they go vertical when the bridge opens. They want to make sure that I’m not there.
What’s it like when the bridge is raised?
You hear a boat horn and then a response horn from the bridge operator. I hear the traffic stop and I hear the bells. Then it’s pretty cool when the bridge opens because it’s really quiet. It’s cool to see the sidewalk come up pretty close to my window.
Do you usually stop writing to watch?
Every single time, because the boats are so interesting. A lot of sailboats. A few super yachts. One I saw, on the back deck, had a dinner table set up and everything really nice. And a group of people, and they just looked sour. They weren’t talking to each other. The people having the most fun are the people on the Argosy Cruises. I wave to them, and they wave back. I wave like crazy sometimes.