Manhandling Panhandlers

I am unsure of a world where if we extend compassion toward another who needs it we are reprimanded by a section in the corporate code of conduct.

I am completely untrusting of a society that discards it’s elderly, favoring a collected isolation where all our grandpas and grandmas can die around the television  playing canasta.

I am obviously not of this earth if when we see people who are unwell, vulnerable or in need we approach with severe apprehension if we even acknowledge them at all.

I am weary of seeing so much neglect for people who are just like us, with eyes, hearts, histories and ambitions. Just like us except that we have jobs, families, educations and the wherewithal to not allow poor decisions or questionable people dictate pivotal moments that affect our futures.

“Just like us“.

Just like “them“.

Those who have nowhere to go are more like us than we’ll ever know. Those who suffer beneath the discarded ends of our luxuries know this world in ways we petulant, privileged and mercenary swarms will rarely understand.

Prey For Snow

Snow has dropped a foot up from the ground and hasn’t moved for days. It’s a frozen, remarkable, quiet softening of routine schedules. We now pass each other slower, sharp and aware, briskly riveted with the barely tenable belief that we as humans control nearly nothing on this habitable rock. This sleepy burg isn’t on the East coast or Midwest. It’s people gathered in a little cliquey city who are now suddenly and glaringly bound to each other as this rare winter crushes through the streets indiscriminately, with stunning, humbling violence.

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A Garden Spade Ain’t No Snow Shovel, Portlander.

winter storm warning. what a ring that phrase has! for us locals, a veritable crap-ton of snow dropped in the back yard last night that even has the truck wondering why it sits buried under fluffy white. cars lie empty and cockeyed on shoulders of the surrounding roads, hazard lights faintly blinking while their drivers presumably limped off into the drifts. they say an uber driver will arrive to my door within 20 minutes but i’m unsure uber realizes the hills in which i reside. i have a 4 o’clock shift downtown and the 12 inches of beautiful snow that’s stacked between me and the city is so daunting it’s laughable. a giggle occurs.

off to the clean-cut heroes of my automotive traction needs. on foot i shall acquire chains which i will then slap onto an old little truck and we’ll see just how fast off to the races we can be.

Live, Love, Laugh, Crash

A month laid up and a year gone off.

Here’s the lay of the land. The splayed wide openness of what I understand:

Horrendous separation and even more gruesome motorcycle crash. At least they were both quick in their bite despite being long with their resolution. All in a year’s work. In a year’s fight, a year’s struggle flush with pain and adventure.

Two dozen feet from point of impact to where my body came to a stop. On a sidewalk. Across the street. Two bones broken poking up through the skin like a splintered tree. Pup tent on a pant leg, picked it up and it was like a sack of broken parts, my boot twisted around like hands on a clock. Never lost consciousness, never forgot who I was or what just happened. Never not knew that someone just broke the law right before I broke my leg.

It takes a certain mettle to deter the depression that wallows in these hollows, this haunt of a beautiful apartment becomes a narrow prison if not checked. Injury that limits mobility and independence will always take the form of an angry, rabid animal that eventually wants to break through walls with its head and roar furiously to freedom. Sequestered from voices, vices, severed from the flesh of society, best leash that beast, boy.

This couch, no matter how nice the leather, there’s a blanket over it. Protecting what, I’m unsure of. Commanding this sofa into oblivion, resting, hurting, healing, watching great television.

Anyone who tells you that life is short are wrong. Life is long and full of beauty and madness. Unless you’re a child. That died. That joke was from Louie CK, who, hands down, has the most poignant and tragically beautiful television show in all of pop culture.

The dog knows. She goes slow, watching my legs, is calm and obedient in the face of my broken, wary gait. Waits as I finally sit down until she ambles up, begging for pets and play.

There isn’t any amount of gratitude that is enough for me to have for everyone who has and still is contributing to this certain convalesence.

 

998 Cubic Centimeters, 2-5 inches of Rain

These daily swinging stints keep me from madness, soothing the rough edges of an otherwise taxing day.

Twisting around the back roads, this new routine of high risk behavior is as much exhilarating as it is terrifying, zipping up then swooping down, the commute is now a wild run through a highway hillside filled with tractor-trailers, SUVs and and Priuses.

This furious nighttime rally sweeping up and down these West Hills of rain-dropped asphalt upon a sleek and dangerous Japanese beast truly is the only way to live or not live.

Keep NW While I Convertibally Roadsterize

Look up. The phenomena of groups of people simultaneously looking down and thumbing their phones is almost so normal that I’m beginning to feel like a monkey in a zoo of  shackled humans.

I was politely informed that it would be in my best interest if I stopped going to my favorite coffee shop and pizza joint. How dare I walk the street on which I was raised, how dare I permeate and somehow soil the good names of those who are more concerned with me than with the sanctity of their own sacred institution…how dare I.

Keep NW. Keep Nob Hill, Westover, Goose Hollow, Burnside, Everett and Vista, I hereby surrender all land, delis, venues and avenues that have been laid claim to by the most advanced level of melodrama to ever walk this tree-lined neighborhood. Keep the tourists, traffic and transients. Keep the lifestyle, the drinks and the drugs, the nights of emptiness despite the money spent, keep NW, you’ve earned it (I mean, burned it).

Let it be known. I’m kicking rocks, hookerfish.

Can we protect Russell, please?

Can we eek into the playoffs, please?

Cubs? Really? Cool. (Go Mets).

The beauty and violence of suicide will always both weigh on me and lighten my step because those I’ve known who have chosen that path still stroll aimlessly inside my soul. Everyday.

I miss smoking cigarettes.  A lot. Waking up, reaching over and lighting a Marlboro before even opening both eyes, resting the ashtray on my chest and watching it rise up and down with each drag, cursing the hot sting of burning ash that always flaked onto my bare skin.

There was a day where I would spend all my money on intangible things and during the hangover/comedown I’d rue the decisions I had made with my dividends. Then there became a day when I would spend all my money on objects, things, random stuff and I would still not satiate the emptiness in my belly that usually a new pair of shoes would fill. These days I understand the term “sock away” because most my dough now gets stuffed into an actual sock. Not on a bottle or a bag, not on toys or couture. Not on anything…except maybe something for a girl. Maybe.

Have you seen this? Heard of this? It’s tea. It’s amazing. I’m sold. The industry in which I work sometimes shocks me with its ingenuity.

Kissing is the singly most underrated and underappreciated action two people can perform. The smell of hair and skin, breath and auras, laundry and product, all determine the aftertaste of a passionate embrace.

One day I’m going to bomb around in a little two-seat, convertible roadster, my white silk scarf will billow furiously behind me as my lady and I careen through the hills like happy bats out of hell and I will then surely be satisfied with how things in my life have turned out. Only then.