searching for a pad in portland

19 October 2012 § Leave a comment

I thought I had a place in Portland. I did. It was a lovely old boat on the Columbia river; I had ducks and Canada geese as neighbors, could sit on the back deck and watch the tide move slowly back to the ocean. No traffic noise, no bulldozers. In the houseboat next to me, where lived my gracious landlord, I had an open space to jam and read from the old mariner’s library while the sun departed its candleflame from the water.

It felt special, it really did – I had defied all odds and found a place in a city where, supposedly, searching for a perfect living situation is akin to Charlie’s chance at getting the golden ticket. I wanted to stay there, despite the relentless spiders and the mold which grew on every hard surface available. And the cushions. And the curtains. I put a few hours of work into it, an attempt to salvage the place at least to Livable. By the end of the priming stage, on a rainy day, when I had found copious leaks in the fo’c’sle, my gut said ‘to hell with it.’ Likely due to the toxic paint fumes.

The carpenter arrived in good spirits. He was prepared to assist me, and had up to then joyfully facilitated my wishes to improve the boat’s condition. My experience with living situations has been disordered – many ended in tears or rage. I wished not to put him in a hard place, and needed to take care of myself. I told him that it wasn’t going to work, and within minutes had removed my guitar, leopard print deck chair, and bottle of vodka – all I had moved in with. His grace outshone his anger, and I apologized from my heart.

I understand that many people don’t mind, or aren’t affected, by mold. Awesome. I would love that immunity. For now, that sensitivity has me kickin’ it with Heather in her awesome Sellwood basement, amidst the irony that it was my request to live consciously separate. This week I’ve seen four houses, all roommate situations (which I don’t necessarily want, but can afford), and perhaps soon I’ll have a place to practice not stumbling over poems during my inaugural performances in Portland.

Boy, did that sound pretentious and self-deprecating. I’ll be a hipster in no time. Watch out.

drink tea, make friends, eat food and spin fire staff on five-mile walks in the middle of the night. a day in the life.

Maybe they’ll call.

Maybe I can manage life here.

Funny, our passports stand from the table and lean on the wall behind it, at the base of the loveliest lamp in the house, like framed art not yet hung, transitory and ready to move at any moment, to a pocket, to another place.

 

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