So, the Yellowstone post was the most fresh in my mind but there’s definitely a few things I’ve missed along the way. This is just a recap of a few of those things.
First lets start in LA with Jon. We went golfing; nine holes at a small three par in Studio City. It was pretty nice all considering. The last I went golfing was in South Carolina with my long time friends BJ and Chad. That was real golfing. You can take a solid breath and glance around at the absolute country and leading all the way to the horizon. I’m not very good. I had some decent runs with little Matt’s clubs in SC, but those guys are real golfers. Jon and I are kinda hacks. Well, I am. Jon’s pretty decent. Well anyway, we were coming around to the clubhouse after most of the course. I was getting consistently better as the round went on. Right about the 6th hole, I hit a long Birdie with the Pitching Wedge. My shot from the tee wasn’t bad; a 3 wood that landed it just left of the green but still in the fairway. The green was up on a plateau and fairly close. This was my best chance yet. I like a chip shot. I’m much better with that than a long putt. I was far from the putting distance so I didn’t have to weigh the decision. I grabbed my club, took my breath and climbed to that higher plane. I knew what I had to do; took my practice swing, then nailed the actual go. It was perfect (if I do say so myself:). I put some backspin on it, hit it straight and watched in hope. It rolled firm and true, right to the hole. Birdie. It was a leaving highlight.
I stayed two nights in Portland at the Youth Hostel in the North West part of town. It was expensive. I remember traveling Europe and staying in hostels in a multitude of cities. The average price was around 10 bucks. Some places were around 15, others were as low as 8. Those were the days. Apparently now, the price for a night at a hostel is about the same as a hotel. It was $30 a night; way too much for travelers! Portland didn’t grab me like all the reports I’ve heard. It’s true, the 90s were alive and it seemed to have a cool layout, but I just wasn’t there long enough to take advantage. I did meet up with a few people from the hostel and we all went out for a movie. There was an awesome Irish girl who initiated the whole adventure and a guy whose name was actually Steven King.
The Laurelhurst Theater was a little independent joint that served pizza and fresh brewed beer. There should be more theater houses that are like that. Seems pretty effective. Afterwards a couple of us went out to experience the local flavor in the Portland downtown, i.e. a few beers at a few bars. I'm sure we will share fond memories. Then there was rain. A lot of rain. Meh. Maybe I’ll see it in the summer.
Oh, there was one more thing about Portland. There was a parking situation like I have never seen in any other city. Many of the spaces were the standard 2 or 3 hour parking, but then there was another sign. It was for 90 minutes only on two days out of the year (permits exempted). Yes, it specified the date of these two days. I’m not sure what was so special about those two days of the year being that one was the Saturday at the end of the week 10/27. I think the other day was in June some time. Of course if you had a permit, then you could park longer than that hour and a half on those two days. Every other day of the year you’d be treated like every other person: free parking all day and night 363 days a year. Luckily, I left before Saturday and could leave my car right in front the whole time.
I left Portland Thursday at noon to head straight for Seattle. I met my hosts who were a newly wed couple, an Indian girl and an Indiana farm boy. They were super nice to entertain random people at their place, and just good people themselves. Toni, a German girl arrived the same day I did; she was very cool. We each claimed a sleeping surface and had a nice long weekend. Our lady host was an interesting person and also very interested in other travelers. At one point there were three of us couch surfing at the same time. A second German stayed for a night, he was an older traveler and a little bit crazy. He claimed to have been traveling for 20 plus years, but was so disheveled it was hard to believe he made it anywhere. He said he was an archeologist traveling and researching these string of questions and stories that all seem to run together. It was kinda weird. He liked to talk.
The farm-boy had to work the regular schedule, but when he was around he was very pleasant. He had a good energy and sense of humor. I hope to stay in touch. We all talked about going out for Halloween but kept going out and burning out all our steam. By the time the weekend came about we were all tired and uninspired. Toni, out of some inspired genius bought a pack of face paints. It was enough for everyone. We all went as white-faced zombies with black eyes. In some ways it must have looked like we were a bunch of White Zombie fans from the mid nineties. We took our deadly faces to the local gay dance club and partied until about 4 am. It was so close to the house party in SF, but paled in true comparison. I'm not exactly a nightclub type of person. Too many people get in the way of having a good time. I get overwhelmed by the neighboring insincerity and vanity and it physically disgusts me. It’s a symptom of large groups and easily seen in the human mating cages behind the nightclub cover charge. I've always been that way, and much prefer a few people to really get to know and then enjoy the random craziness that life provides all on it's own. And of course, there is that empty void left inside waiting to be filled by the goddess of the moment - the same void that goes many days and nights falsely being filled with gadgets, calories, and a healthy imagination. But those are not things that could fill such a vacuum. The things that a man like me crave are all found in the skin of another... the lustful yearning found in deep eyes, felt in sharp nails and teeth, smiles melted in sweat and tears and the best of intentions; all of which will not solely come from me. This night that void will go unfilled leaving only the hopeful possibility in future nights.
As I said Toni was a traveler from Germany. I’ll mention her name because I know she wont mind (right Toni?). We got along immediately. Good peeps. She was super interested in finding authentic Seattle music stores and local and/or new music. Surely, this was noble mission, one that I was very fond of and would often join. Seattle is definitely a place for music. It seems that no matter what you’re into, they have tons of rare choices.
I instantly liked Seattle. When I got there, there was this energy emitting and sending waves of positivity. I just felt good there. It did rain pretty much the whole time, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. We all still went out. The only thing that really stood out as a negative was the parking. There is no easy parking in that city. There was only the option to pay to park for two hours at a time. It was super inconvenient. Not to mention that parking enforcement was from Monday-Saturday. I’ve never heard of that! Cities of America, parking enforcement is Monday-Friday. You can’t start encroaching on the weekend. That is sacred shit. People will go mad! Just look at the city of Seattle… the people are tearing each other to bits. Well, actually they’re all pretty civil, but they all have parking permits. If you want tourists to visit, make it a little easier!
So, last but not least was my really amazing fiend Allison. She was born and raised in Seattle and just happened to be there when I was in town. She is so funny and smart. She’s an actress who is part of the looking for work community. She is so deserving and talented; I can’t wait to see her in a major project, maybe one of mine. Time will tell.
Allison, you are so awesome! Thanks so much for being there.
Ok surface scratched.