I take the bus into the city and I smile at all the passengers, even the back of the neck in front of me is perfect. I get off downtown and walk to the waterfront. It’s a beautiful day and the clouds have cleared for a moment allowing the sun to reflect off the water and to beat on my back. Joggers pass me and the smooth movement of their muscles wink at me underneath layers of clothing. I smile at the other stragglers meandering down the path needing nowhere else to be. I lean against the railing for a while and watch the Canadian geese rest on the water, feet paddling to keep them still, until an unspoken command is uttered and they lift one after the other back into the sky, each finding their place in the V.
It’s been a hell of a weekend. Hellish is probably the perfect adjective for it and I would write more but I don’t have the words for it, yet. One more terrible decision to add to my pile and ever the damsel in distress, one more rescue performed by my father. I have a knack for getting lost in this big bad world and he never fails to find me and bring me home.
Though, as beat down as I feel there is no place for that here on the Portland waterfront. I banish the negative thoughts and stress from my mind. I concentrate on the fallen leaves and the trees like fire against the sky. I smile at all the people I see; bikers, tourists, the young guy scarfing down his lunch in front of the dancing fountains. I smile at an older Asian man reading on a bench who smiles back at me as my eyes travel to his magazine. I double over shaking with laughter when I see it’s exotic porn.
This is life. This is life on wooden benches with concrete under your feet. This is life in water, metal and stone. I follow the path to a black iron bridge and sit for a while watching the pedestrian traffic. Later will come coffee and a competitive game of Jenga that I lose fantastically at; a goodbye dinner and movie; a late night hug and a promise to keep in touch. Later, I will let the sadness and excitement of leaving one home for another tumble dry to a bittersweet warmth in my gut. But, that’s later. Right now I am here, firmly planted in the moment. Right now I let the sun kiss my new scars and deem them recovered. I stretch my arms as far as they will go on either side and gather this city into a bear hug. ‘Til next time, Portland. Keep it weird.
The Temper Trap – Down River