Sunday, June 26, 2005

long time gone

I am here. I am here. I am here.

It has been well over a month since I have taken the time out of the tiny slice of time left to me after this woman-eating job, to document my experience of this life--my interpretation of the things that happen to me-- the things I see.

I remember when I was new here (and in saying that, realize that I am no longer new here) we were walking further down my street and saw a raven perched atop a church steeple, and squirrels hopping tree-to-wire, and the hunchback, and it was all so new.

It is still different. I am still enthralled.

My husband sells bikes. He buys them cheap, cleans them up and sells them cheeep. And the reason I tell you this is because it is a story.

There we were, selling bikes on Clinton Street. Now, I don't sell the bikes, but I live here, and I see things, and I can only see them with my eyes -- my southern-oregon-small-town-eyes -- and this girl stops to look at the bikes. She is a biggish girl like me, redhead, hole-punched and inked like so many girls are here. or now. And she asks about the bike for her friend. And we have (he has) a pair of Peugeots, purchased from an older asian couple who still had the original receipts and the manuals and they are nice. And so are the bikes. So this girl is looking at the girl's bike for her friend whom she refers to as "him" and "he." And I inquire if she's wanting which bike, and she says he is short, so he wants the step-through model. And I learn yet another pc term about bikes. It is so fucking hard to keep up.

So.... when the friend shows up, there are three of them, and I can't tell what they are. They were so completely ambiguous. The ones who looked like guys had tits, the ones who looked like women did not. There were whiskers and sideburns where none should be, and we were so confused. And I'm thinkin', hey, buy them both. Have a girl's bike and a boy's bike for those day's when even you aren't sure.

Now saying this, I know I expose my provincial mind... my utter lack of sophistication... my age. But Jeeeesus. These were some odd looking characters. And I love a good story, but I was speechless. Gender-benders for sure. So, he bought the step-through bike, (the GIRL'S bike) and he was very short, or at least his legs were. Oh God.

Other than that, everything is still new. I had a birthday and am a year older, but, according to my honey-pie, aging gloriously. And wednesday I'll have 18 years clean, which, incidentally, seems entirely too long. We went to a yard sale yesterday (on bikes and I forgot money) and I overheard a guy say, "this book is full of those hideous 12-step affirmations," referring to a self-help book, the likes of which fill the bins at yard sales along with hardbound copies of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonomyous. And I hear this more and more, the joke of AA and NA, and I have been holding my breath, biding my time, waiting for the day when the program that saves my life a day at a time finally falls out of favor with the flavor-of-the-month-club. Seems we are almost there. But this is Portland, and everyone is just so hip it hurts.

I've missed y'all.

Friday, June 10, 2005


There is a Chinese Baptist church in Ladd's Addition. I wonder how you know if they are speaking in tongues?

Well, I am happily employed doing what I know, knowing what I do. They found me a car to drive back and forth. A 1999 Subaru Impreza. Imprezzive, eh? It is silver. That's the main thing. It is used. A ticking time bomb, according to the dealer. They all are, he says --used cars. It inspired confidence in me. At least I don't have to buy it. It is tiny and I can't tell where to put my feet. The clutch and brake are so close together compared to my truck. And I will miss my truck. I don't have posession of it yet.

The way I judge commuting success, thus far, is whether I hit any lights on the way. So far, I've made it to the end of Sherwood without stopping in the morning. Last Monday, I made it clear back through Tigard, all the way to the freeway before I hit traffic. A couple of lights, but it was smooth sailing. A rare event.

I am not writing. I miss the words. the page.