Sunday, June 17, 2012

Love Affair (for lack of a better title)

Every time I feel homesick, Portland loves on me. I was pretty lonely at Pride today because everyone was with a lover or their friends and I didn't have anyone to share the experience with. I decided to stop at a bar on my way home, to ease the pain. I cried while drinking my Widmer Hefeweizen and wearing my aviators as armor. I anticipate this, but knowing it was going to happen didn't make it easier. It just helped me understand that it would pass. In the midst of my silent blubbering, this crazy guy in his mid-forties come coasting down the hill to the bar. He's decorated with the hallmark war wounds of a bike accident. He sits next to me on the patio so he can watch his bike, which he didn't lock up. Predictably, he talks to me. He's so warm and friend and he reminds me of my dad, but I'm attracted to him. The human contact yanks me out of my gloom. His two lady friends show up and I play the part of the voyeur. One thing I will never give up is my gawking, especially in Portland. People in Portland feel safe airing out their private affairs in public because other Portlandians give them the dignity of privacy. I don't. I love to hear people's inane conversations-- imagine when my ears settle upon the intimacies of life. Yes! So, these three individuals are talking about their son's and daughter's indiscretions, lies, and screw-ups. The crazy bicycle guy talks about and shows his massive bruise from when he got hit by a car on his bike. They're talking about their divorces and their dating and I am eating it up. I almost feel like they are choosing to share this with me (I mean, they've caught me smiling/staring/visibly listening several times and they just smile). And this man, he smiles at me sweetly when we make eye contact and tells me he likes my shoes. Punctuating their lovely exchange is the owner of the bar that I predict will become a haunt of mine while I living on the west side: she says to me as she brings me a third round of the delightful hefeweizen, "Your hair is beautiful! You look like you belong in Vogue." I thank her profusely. That's it. Depression crisis averted. Portland is only as good as the people who populate it. Today, several strangers (including the crazy bicycler and the bar owner) convinced me that I will find my place here... in time.

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