I went to Portland, gosh it happened fast. Vegan sushi speed chess toilet down the hall and tiny soaps on ropes I’m taking them all, lost in Powell’s Books and ciphering suitcase allocation—not back to Van, but leaving the whole coast. Silent reading, so much volume, words are so much weight. Greyhound will growl, Canada Post, flog my wallet.
So I just look. Breathe in all those books. I want to walk the city, play with public transportation, but the boys want the shore 80 miles away.
Dudes, we live in a beach town. We don’t need no stinkin ocean.
But it’s hard to complain when the sand is so fine it slips into your pores. The salt water taffy extracts my teeth. Even the wily gulls, devouring our rice krispie bars, charm.
We came for VNV but it’s hard to believe we’re actually gonna see them when suddenly there they are, talking too long between songs as always and playing the predicted mix of battering ram epics and dorkbright new tunes.
Ronan suffers a mysterious injury, grits his teeth in fury he can’t show us how it’s done, but we forgive and dance hard anyway, bounce and sweat and shout then eat on Voodoo Donuts and find the afterparty, which looks and vibes like a high school dance if, you know, you toiled teenage years at Rivethead High or Cybergoth Secondary. This was, obviously, awesome. There was even blood on the dance floor, for real (…rest in peace, Michael.)
The next morning we assailed the farmers market, making off with flats of berries and sausage-fat snap peas.
Though we’d barely just arrived, we then headed back north, sick on cherries, cured on rustic corn nuts and thrash-car-dancing with the never-ending soundtrack of Saltillo and The Knife.
I wish I had more time.