Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Bill Pearse (pinklightsabre) reminded me in a recent post of his of Snoqualmie Pass, outside of Seattle. He and his buddy, Brad, went climbing up there not long ago, but my only visit to the spot was back in 1991, when my first wife and I were performing urgent CPR on our marriage.
We’d picked the Salish Lodge for a romantic weekend, not because we knew anything about the Salish Lodge or Snoqualmie Pass other than what we’d read in the L.A. Times travel section (we lived in San Diego at the time), but because the lodge was one of the stars of Twin Peaks. The original. It was The Great Northern Hotel.
We were super into Twin Peaks back then. It was one of our few areas of common interest. I’m not sure why we thought that the location of a David Lynch (Blue Velvet!) series would be a good place to rekindle our relationship. Maybe Connie had a thing for Kyle McLaughlin, but I know I was ape over Sherilyn Fenn (who could knot a cherry stem in her mouth) and Lara Flynn Boyle. I’d hate to think that the dancing dwarf had become the symbol of our union.
After a couple of nights in Seattle, we drove up I-90 in the rental, checked in, and immediately did our separate things. Connie slid right into the jetted tub (with complimentary herbal bubble bath), and I took a walk down to a view of the falls from below.
We had dinner at the hotel, built a fire, used the jetted tub together, made love for the last time in our marriage, and went to sleep.
The next day we drove into whatever town it is up there that passed for Twin Peaks (probably Snoqualmie, I’d guess) and had breakfast in the little diner there. They were selling Twin Peaks t-shirts, of course. That show was the biggest thing that had ever happened to them all and they were going to milk the hell out of it because, carpe diem. I bet they were amazed that people traveled from all over to visit the place where fictional Laura Palmer was killed and the oddball director had turned the place upside down. It’s not like the characters were walking the streets and having pancakes in the diner. And they’d have been really baffled to learn that the two of us were hoping to save our marriage by spending two nights up there at The Great Northern, like something magical had rubbed off on the place that we could inhale and take home with us. Get through another year.
The failing of a marriage is something that’s hard to arrest. Counseling hadn’t helped, but we had a history of enjoying our travels, and since moving out to California we’d been to some terrific settings, from San Francisco to Santa Fe, The Biltmore Hotel in L.A. to a cliffside inn on the Sonoma Coast. Now Twin Peaks.
Like the show, though, the marriage didn’t survive. It still hits me as strange that whenever I think of that show, and all its uncanny weirdness, all its camp and sick kitsch, I’m reminded of my ex and how our last trip together was to a place like that, with beauty all around and the bizarre too. I’m not much inclined to watch the revival of the show, for fear that too many ghosts will come to visit. All of this was a long time ago.
I’m just glad that The Twilight Zone wasn’t on the air back in ‘91.
(Image via Russell Boltz via Wiki Commons [GNU Free Documentation License].)