Monday, July 16, 2007

details of my second adolescence

Or maybe it's my third. I guess it depends what you're counting.

Anyway, I'm behaving like a restless teenager these days, with boundless curiosity and energy to burn. Too bad I'm not a teenager and I *don't* really have much energy to burn. And, I mean, eventually all this is going to catch up with me, isn't it? We'll see. Otherwise, here it is. Enjoy.

Friday Night:

Party at a coworker's house. Fortunately, I spent the whole day laying low, hanging out, enjoying my patio, reading my godawful book. I'm not even really sure what possessed me to go to this party b/c the woman who threw it (we'll call her Elvira) kinda makes me nervous.

But I went anyway, b/c maybe I'm curious about being made nervous. Who knows. Took a sixer of Red Stripe, added it to a fridge already bursting with beer, and spent about two hours talking to a pin-ball nerd about conquering games. It was actually more fun than it sounds. Then Dree showed up.

Dree is another coworker. Dree's the one who invited me to come along while she was tattooed. Dree is a youngster, a very young youngster. And Dree is really cute. So Dree showed up and even though she hasn't until recently been on my radar AT ALL, suddenly there she was with these sparkly eyes looking at me in this particularly sparkly way (not out from under the perpetual scowl she wears at work) and I thought 'hmm... this is interesting.' And it was.

We ended up out on the back balcony with all the people smoking weed and tobacco and talking shit. I climbed over the edge of the balcony and hung myself out over the abyss of the backyard, just enjoying the pull of gravity, the night air, the kinetic energy, the people all behind me talking and laughing, Elvira begging me to come back over to the safe side of the balcony. Then Dree climbed out too.

The rest is sort of a pleasant blur and I will slide over the details and just say that Friday night slowly rolled into Saturday morning and it wasn't till nearly Saturday afternoon that I found my way home.

Saturday:

I hadn't had much sleep and I dragged myself into my house around 11-ish Saturday morning, exhausted and mildly dizzy. Took a two hour nap, woke at 2pm and crawled onto Skype to see if SK was around. She's coming back soon and our Skype-times are coming to a close (are now, in fact, over). Passed the rest of the afternoon in an epic, two-hour-and-eight-minute skype conversation with SK, after which Adventure Girl called on my cell and asked if I wanted to hang out.

I had plans already to meet old-Mog (check out the early archives if you're interested) and another queer-law-school friend for drinks. But what the heck, I told Adventure Girl that I could squeeze her in for some happy hour pinball at my favorite bar, Billy Rays. Why not? Why worry about my exhaustion or the fact that I was already planning to go kayaking with Adventure Girl the next morning, early? Why behave like a grown up?

So by six I was pumping quarters into Medieval Madness and drinking red beer (great hangover cure, btw, tomato juice in light beer -- don't make that face! It's good!) and joking around with Adventure Girl. As much as I'm loathe to admit it, I'm a tiny bit of a Portland-hipster-snob-wannabe. Just a tiny bit. And Adventure Girl is technically too much of a mainstream-jock to be seen w/ me in the scrungy-slacker bar I love so much. But whatever.

After we did our worst damage to Medieval Madness (the best pinball game ever), we headed off for mac and cheese under the Morrison bridge at the Montage. The Montage is another one of those Portland institutions that's gotten too cool for it's own good. It was filled to the gills with people who looked like tourists bussed in from Beaverton and Salem. I felt like I sometimes felt in New Orleans, in dark, mysterious, candle-lit, voodoo rooms filled with ball-capped, white-t-shirted, socks-and-sandals tourists, chewing gum and looking around at everything, waiting for entertainment. Yuck.

But the mac and cheese was good. In fact, I have a tin-foil swan full of the leftovers in my fridge right at this moment. I should go eat them.

After Montage I spent a few minutes pushing Adventure Girls boundaries and then headed off, slightly late, to meet my other friends at the Nest. The Nest used to be Joe's Place, an old Alberta St. dive back when Alberta used to be poor and black and full of gang activity. They only sold forties in brown bags at the bar and it was known to be a Dangerous Place.

Well now that Alberta's been safely gentrified, it's still a slightly trashy dive, but they have more than forties at the bar, the clientelle is mostly white (but not entirely, which is refreshing), and it no longer seems like a knife fight waiting to happen. Oh, and there's a great patio-space out back. A great patio space with horse-shoes and not enough tables for all the tons of hipsters trying to pack in. We got into full on turf wars with a table full of dykes who thought we'd stolen their chairs. We sent Mog as our ambassador of peace to negotiate with the bleach-blonde, crew-cutted uber-dyke who was holding our chairs hostage. I don't know what Mog said, but she got our chairs back and declared that the two tables were now friends. Nice work.

The patio was fun for awhile but, inexplicably, at 11:15, one of the bar's proprieters (happy to say he was black, so at least *all* the black business owners on Alberta haven't been gentrified away) came out and told us the patio would be closing in ten minutes. Wha??? The packed patio, teeming with people who'd never actually fit into the bar itself, who'd probably just leave and stop spending their money rather than try and cram themselves inside. Why would you ever want to run off half your cleintelle when the night was still so young?

It was not for me to contemplate. I left. Hit the pillow and was out before midnight.

Sunday:

Alarm at 6:45am. SIX FORTY FIVE A M!!! That's so early! But I desperately needed a shower and some food before heading off to kayak for only the second time in my life. Adventure Girl bought herself a brand new kayak this week, so I was able to use her old one for free. Sweet!

And speaking of 'yaks, I got carsick on the way to Sauvie Island (long story about why, but you would too if you'd been in my position), and once we stopped at the designated meeting place, I had to wander over to the bushes next to the general store and unload the contents of my stomach. Nice.

I was fine once I was on the water in the short, sporty, bright green kayak that all the other kayak-dykes call "sweet pea." They all have long, sleek kayaks that slice gracefully through the water like magic. They used to razz Adventure Girl about Sweet Pea, but now she's got a long, sleek kayak too (red, which they're all calling "hot tamale") and so now they get to razz *me* for Sweet Pea. Which is fine.

We paddled, literally, for hours and I thought my arms would probably fall off, but I kept up. I had a really interesting conversation, as we slowly paddled along, with one of the women, about her son who died of cancer at twenty and my brother who died (basically) also from cancer at twenty. There we were, paddling slowly up the Willamette, talking about the intimacy and mystery of death. It was really incredible.

Eventually we stopped on a sandbar to rest and eat lunch. While we sat among some fragrant weeds (we debated: mint? thyme? something...) I looked up and saw the sweet, curious, white face of a hereford cow peeking around the corner of a trail on our island. She stood and looked at us for a long while, then, having decided we were probably harmless, she cautiously made her way to the edge of the water and drank, right there at the end of our long line of kayaks. Someone jumped up and snapped a picture and I can't wait to see it. Ten shiny, colorful kayaks all in a row, then a fat, black cow dipping her white face into the water at the end. Sweet.

After 'yaking, we all drove over to a brew pub in the NW and had hamburgers and beers and I was still feeling a little crappy, but the beer and the food actually helped a little. It was nice to sit at the table with these really great women. I'm by far the youngest, younger than the next youngest by seven years. They're all old dykes with long stories, kids, exes, joys and complications. And they're all really warm and sweet and funny and I'm really thankful to be able to hang out with them, benefit from their kayak wisdom and just enjoy their collective company.

Pretty soon, after all the beers and hamburgers were gone, we disbanded. One by one, a car with kayaks on the roof pulled out of the parking lot, all heading in different directions. I went back to Adventure Girl's house for the last adventure of all. No details on that one either, it's too complicated, but it was mostly fun. I got home at 11:30, Skyped SK for the last time, and crashed.

That was my weekend. Action packed. Exhausting. Over.

5 Comments:

Blogger heather said...

sounds like a great weekend! nice recap.

1:53 PM  
Blogger zuhn said...

Walk of shame?

2:13 PM  
Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

heather -- thanks. :-)

zuhn -- no shame, thank you very much. and anyway, it was more like the stumble of the underslept zombie.

2:18 PM  
Blogger zuhn said...

High-five!

6:06 PM  
Blogger Rosemary said...

Holy crap. What an amazing weekend. After reading your recap, I feel like *I* need to take a nap.

Also, I can't believe you "slid over the details". I respect your choice but I don't have to like it.

9:38 AM  

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