i live at mississippi pizza
While I don't actually live INSIDE Mississippi Pizza, I do live ON TOP OF Mississippi Pizza, now that my move into Mahavira's apartment is complete, and it often feels like we are very close to the action indeed. There's live music downstairs pretty much every night of the week, which is less of a noise problem than you might think. The worst thing about it is all the goddamn pizza I eat. Just because it's there. And it's cheap. And it's so so easy.
It's actually kinda cool living on top of one of North Portland's most happenin' spots. By "most happenin'" I definitely don't mean "coolest." But there really is a lot happening down there. Most afternoons the place is awash in children, and their comfortably dressed, Portland yuppie parents, baby-dancing to the music and crying about pizza. Then, in the evenings, the other crowd of slightly younger Portland yuppies rolls in for whatever bluesy, folksy, mambo band happens to be on the roster.
I never, ever, EVER bother to check out the music, even though some of it might be good. Living on top of the place, and essentially treating it like my living room, gives me license to be 'cooler than thou' in regard to all the entertainment happening down there. Mahavira and I pop down there almost every night with the dog to sit at the picnic tables out front and drink cheap beer. The dog gets molested/adored by all the passers by and Mahavira and I sorta just tolerate the crowd of people on our "front porch."
This crowd includes several frequent flyer pan-handlers. First there's the one-legged lady in the wheelchair, she always wants change and isn't ashamed to tell you she's either going to buy beer or pot with it. Every now and then she wants a bus ticket. Then there's this other guy who usually just wants a cigarette. Then, finally, there's the singing-flower-guy who claims to be raising money for some men's shelter I've never heard of (and believe me, if it existed in Portland, I would have heard of it) -- he walks around selling handfuls of gorgeous flowers he has very obviously just stolen from people's yards, and he once sang a duet of "Suddenly" by Lionel Richie with Mahavira whose love of that song far surpasses her ability to sing it. He actually told her to sing quieter and let him finish... she pretended not to notice. And that is why I love her.
If you're wondering how I feel about losing my little apartment on the other side of MLK, I'll tell you: I feel fine about it. I finished up the move on Saturday and I feel a tremendous relief now that I'm not stretched between two places. About two weeks into my relationship with Mahavira it became clear that we would have to live together, there was just no way around it. And now, here we are, and even though we're in a tiny little spot, we're exactly where we're supposed to be and we're pretty happy about it all.
My love for Mahavira, and the dog of course, aside, it's also just really nice to be above-ground for a change. It's nice to have light coming in the windows, to have warmth, to have plants all over. It's also nice not to have rent. For some reason Mahavira is refusing to let me help with this month's rent. I do not understand her reasons, but I have come to accept it. Instead of paying rent -- and Mahavira doesn't know this yet -- I'm going to go down to Atlas Tattoo and pay the equivalent of my half of the rent to get her some store credit. She's been wanting a new tattoo and says she can't afford it right now. We'll see about that...