the people we saw
1.) She called at 9am and I drove over to take her out to breakfast. Thought it was only right to take her to the Paradox, which was the first restaurant I was taken to in this town, the day after I first arrived in May of 2001. The Paradox is a great, mostly-vegan spot on Belmont in the hippie-hipster part of Southeast Portland. They have *great* food. We split an order of almond gravy biscuits and I had tofu and fried potatoes. Yum. Bec had the special, which just looked like a huge pile of junk with a glob of guacamole on top. Looked questionable, but she thought it was great.
And who did I see? CB's middle son, Seraph. As Bec and I were walking down the sidewalk towards the Paradox, a car honked and someone called my name, and there he was, in his green scrubs, on his way to his job in the vet clinic. He stopped in the middle of the street and jumped out an hugged me and gave me his new number and we made quick plans to try and meet up soon because he and his wife are probably moving to Berkley at the end of the month.
He's great. A month before I left CB, I ran into Seraph and his wife at Dingo's on Hawthorne. They knew something was up with CB, but they didn't know what. They assumed it we were just having some relationship troubles. And we were, but probably not how they imagined. Seraph asked if I was going to leave CB and, at that time, I wasn't even considering it. I felt sad and tired when he asked, but I laughed a weak sort of laugh and said "No. I'm not leaving." And he said, "Listen, if you leave my mom, it will be the best thing you'll ever do for yourself." And he really meant it. It must suck to have a drunk for a mom.
2.) After the Paradox, Bec wanted to go look for jeans at a thrift store, so we went over to the Buffalo Exchange on Hawthorne. Seraph's wife KT works there, so I assumed we would see her, and we did. And that was great. She's gained about twenty pounds since the last time I saw her, an incredibly dramatic change, but I guess that's just life. I wondered if she was pregnant. She gave me a huge hug and told me bits and pieces of their personal saga w/ CB since I left. She kept saying "I don't want to burden you with details" -- but then she'd let a few slip out. Like that CB was drunk yesterday. And that CB and Seraph got into a big fight on Friday. Typical. I told KT I was really sorry I left them all to deal with CB and she laughed. She said "I'm just glad *you* don't have to deal with her anymore. She's impossible." And I felt so sad then. So sad for CB, who is really a sweet, awesome person who is also completely, belligerently, obnoxiously impossible. God it all sucks.
The craziest thing of all, though, was running into my friend Kris from Columbus, Ohio. I moved to Columbus in 1998 and lived with Bec there for a year and a half. While we were there, we became friend with Kris. Kris moved out here to Portland about a year before I came out here and though we've lived in the same town now for five years, we *never* see each other. Once every six months or so one of us will drop the other an email, we'll try to make some kind of plan, it will fall through, etc. In all my five years out here, I have *never* just bumped into Kris. Until today. At the Buff. With Bec. Again, I heard my name and turned around and there she was. Surprising for both of us, but quadruply shocking when I called Bec over. They haven't seen each other in 7 years now. Unbelievably random. What are the odds? Hmm.
3.) After all that craziness, we decided to walk up and down Hawthorne, just for the heck of it, and I saw CB's youngest son, little T. But that wasn't any kind of surprise, really. He was working at his job and I pretty much knew where to find him. It was good, though, b/c I haven't seen him in awhile and I didn't want him to think I was ignoring him.
That's all the people we saw. Then we went to my favorite coffeeshop and chatted awhile, then we came to my house and chatted awhile, then we went to Billy Ray's on MLK and sat in the backyard drinking beer and chatting awhile, soaking up the surprisingly warm March sun before the giant dark clouds took over. After allllllll that, I drove Bec back over to her friend's and then came back across town to meet Dreadlock for Pho. Only neither of us ate Pho. I ate brazed gluten and vegetables and it was awesome. The end.