emma b. says

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Time: Love

And in the morning I woke up and I was forty years old, it was a beautiful day.

That was a month and dozen or so days ago.

A dozen and some days backI flew to San Francisco to hang out with old friends and eat, drove out to the Russian River to eat and drink some more, I got really sick on the second day, smoked some crazy ass dope and stripped off my swimsuit in the hot tub surrounded by gay men and a former lover, and a married man who.

And then I knew, what I knew already, I've been gone a long time, and life had gone on in my absence, which we all know happens, doesn't mean that it doesn't feel a little bit lonely when it's underscored. I haven't been in stasis, and they wondered about my clipped speech and portlandisms. (put a bird on it allfuckingready) I had thought for a long time that I had exiled myself, which I had done and was very deliberate about it. And for a long while I was a Californian hiding out in Portland getting frequently kicked in the gut by extenuating circumstances and making the best of it. I've gotten used to crying in airport restrooms, for the piece of my heart left in San Francisco, and this time, stuck for a four hour layover, too sick to drink local beer, I just wanted to be home and home is Portland.

It was before twilight when I got in the cab, and clear, and mountains and flowers and green, and the sun waning in the west when it had already set over San Francisco.

It's easy when you are 21 to fall in love with the biggest metropolis you ever got to know really well, sticking your nose in it's private corners with all of your youthful indiscretion, when you can get away with driving down by those behemoth factories in the dark hours where you have no business being. And faking your way through the low brow and the high brow, because you are young and you are in love with this place, from the crud in the gutter to that glorious skyline, and every crossing of every bridge was a suspended path back to home, back to home.

For me and Portland it's been a slow burn, I was simmering with resentment, shaking with inarticulate fear, that I still can't quite put the right words to. In the end, or rather the beginning, it was beauty that won me over. Not in the skyline, but on the sidewalk. After all the months of darkness, it's the flowers and the effort that people put in to tending flowers, it's the people who plant lettuces in their front yards trusting that no one will come along and pluck them. It's the kids and dogs and kids and dogs, and barbeque's. And the good people that I know and have come to love.

So now I am 40 years old, possessed of a slanting house with a full front porch. I have no career to speak of. I am making a business with four girlfriends, we specialize in foreclosures, we make time for Zumba and dogs are welcome in the office and I haven't worn make up in I don't know how long.  I keep having dreams that I am dying and I am devastated as I drive myself out to SFO (that is where I die) that I haven't been able to love and be loved in return. I take that as a sign that I need to put myself out there, if I can fall in love with a city, and I can fall in love with new friends, the next logical step would be to crank open my rib cage and fall in love with an actual man. Or a factotum penis. Whatevs.


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