The sequence of events which lead up to me sitting here typing this goes, more or less, as follows:
1) Two years ago I applied to graduate schools for an MFA in poetry. One program was the University of Oregon, in Eugene. So I flew out to Portland to visit my brother, who I am staying with currently, and visit the school. I fell in love with Portland.
2) Don’t get the funding to go to graduate school. Just a nota bene, that sucked really bad.
3) Visit Portland, last year, for no reason other than to go somewhere I liked.
4) A series of karmic coincidences lead me to believe I was meant to move there.
5) Back in NJ my car breaks and I can’t afford a new one. Solution: move somewhere where there is mass transportation ie: a city.
6) Win a good sum of money in poker, which affords me the opportunity to move(like what I did there? Playing off the word “afford”, man I’m a genius).
7)Get on a plane and leave everything I know behind me.
Ok, that we’re basically caught up let’s talk about what I’ve been doing with my time here and tell you about the revelations lying therein. Or, just yap about the bars I’ve been too. . . either way.
So, I wandered the city for the first time, well first time this time around, on Friday. I walked for about 80 blocks or so, in total. I ate some sushi, drank some coffee made some lists in my head. In a word, I felt comfortable. Well, comfortable other than the throbbing calves and feet, but walking 80 blocks will do that to you. But, growing beneath that comfort, was a tinge of something disquieting.
Let’s skip to yesterday. I wandered the city, this time getting drunk while wandering. I started to feel just how alone I was. All my friends and places of comfort are a continent to the right of me. I wandered the Pearl district looking for a place called “the low brow lounge”. I was getting frustrated, alone and tired and losing my buzz. I asked the city to give me a sign, to help me. So I made a random right turn, and saw something vaguely familiar. I walked to a corner and noticed the sign glowing barely half a block away, “The low brow lounge”, and all was well. I thanked the city and went in. It was a short reprieve. After about half a glass of scotch I found myself feeling the weight of no conversation. I wanted to write. And it was good. So after a few more glasses, this time scotch and soda, I wandered to the Rogue pub a few blocks away. I was depressed there too. But, it was a good depression, one of those this-is-natural-needs-to-happen kind of depression. I knew I could be depressed in this city, and would work itself out. I wanted to write badly. I usually keep a notebook in my back pocket, it ran out slightly before I left for the left coast. I left, I wanted to write. I wanted to play on the words right and left.
Back to Beaverton. Back to obscurity. I jotted some words down, then turned on the TV. I knew, for the first time in a long time, that it would be ok. The world provides, the city leaves you bread crumbs to find something resembling home.
That is how I’ve been spending my time. Looking for signals, and walking a lot. Out of everything from NJ that I miss; I miss my bar the most. That places welcomed me and gave me a place in which to grow as a person. Soon, I will find another place to hang my hat(I don’t wear a hat, but try to keep with me here). A place to feel comfortable, a place to radiate out from. Radiate till the whole city is a comfortable place, and I can stop walking so friggin’ much.