hello from san francisco.
i'm writing--typing--from a coffee shop that fulfills every west coast hipster coffee house cliché imaginable.
elizabeth and i have been on the road for five days now. we have been stared down by the regulars of a crescent city diner, charged by a sea lion on a dock in battery point harbor, and driven down the 101 through a quarter of an audio recording of jeffrey eugenides' middlesex on tape. the redwoods are beautiful, breathing things.
leaving was a scramble. i managed to piss off several employees of the US postal service with my mountain of boxes and my inability to comprehend their respective shipping prices. our house turned into a hostel during a two week period of overlapping movers-in and movers-out. the fishbowl, our home with four proper bedrooms and two makeshift bedrooms, was suddenly housing 10. economy-size jars of peanut butter got involved, forcing ulysses to make a peanut butter knuckle sandwich. i would be lying if i said that i will not miss that insane, decrepit house, and i would be lying even more if i said that i will not miss the bejeezus out of portland. it is comfortable, cheap, loving, beautiful, bike-friendly, takes composting seriously, and is full of more good food than i could sample in a lifetime. it's summer camp for adults. it's where young people go to retire, and rightly so. but it's time. if i don't pack up and move on to something that will make me newly uncomfortable, i'll get too comfortable. i'll stagnate. being a broke brooklynite is calling my name. how strange that the last three movies we watched in our summer film club were do the right thing, midnight cowboy, and dog day afternoon--movies about the uglier aspects of new york in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
going away and saying goodbye included an enormous gathering at elk rock island, with snacks and swimming and sun, a party in a tiny room at the jupiter hotel during which ulysses took a bath, an idyllic bike ride to powell butte upon which nick and i watched a copper-streaked panoramic sunset, the best game of miniature tanks i have ever played, a final food cart run for breakfast sandwiches and then another final food cart run for salad rolls, an embarrassingly slow but determined installation of a bike rack onto the trunk of elizabeth's car, an enormous cuddle puddle, tequila shots, and a round of clue in which participants at various levels of intoxication experimented with method acting character development. i was colonel mustard, who started out with my normal modes of speech but with significantly more misogyny, and eventually evolved into a persona that i have fondly dubbed "40s cop voice."