The Portland International Airport is simply more pleasant than any other airport. I have spent a lot of time at the Louis Armstrong Airport in the last year, and I used to say it was my favorite (1. It is named after Louis Armstrong. 2. It looks a lot like a post-apocalyptic wasteland and that is interesting to anyone who writes poetry in airports). But upon reevaluation, it's clear that Portland's airport is grandly superior in every possible way. I used to come here on the Red Line MAX train and sit in the little cushiony place where people wait to see the people they love come off planes. I stole this from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, it turns out, but at the time I didn't realize it and thought this was a very creative endeavor. In any case, I could spend entire afternoons here, creepily investigating hugs like a connoisseur. For that reason alone, PDX should be my favorite airport. And then it goes ahead and has a Powells right inside it, and that pushes Portland International over the edge.
Flying out of Portland today means that summer is officially over.
Although New Orleans will feel like summer for the next three or four months (with its humidity and swampy creatures taking over porches and backyard gardens). I start training for my new job on Thursday, and pretty soon kids in impossibly unhip school uniforms will overflow on streets and city buses. And so begins the year.
My last week in Portland can be marked by a series of re-discoveries.
Hannah and Leah (who both look good naked) and I went to the nude beach and looked (at least 2/3 of the way) good naked. We swam in the river, where the grimy sand has turned muddy and feels like wet felt on the ground (there's probably a grosser, more accurate way to describe that). Leah said, "Yep. This is what we are supposed to be doing."
We cooked vegetables, corn on the cob, raspberry cake and vegan mac and cheese, and had some pretty good-looking and interesting people over to eat food and discuss the merits and demerits of fungi in cooking.
This was really the launching point, and everything that followed either composed the largest group of mistakes I have ever made, or some of the best choices of my life. But let's be optimists here. After all, I was crushingly happy for four days. The only trouble was that then I had to leave, and I promised myself to never again get quite so attached to anything I had to leave.
But you know, non-attachment has never been in the cards for me. For the two weeks I spent lying in bed, reading books and sleeping for fourteen hours a day, I was categorically pretty depressed.
Honestly, I don't know why I am so addicted to commitment. I mean, I can love Portland and New Orleans equally if I want to, right? The way you're supposed to love children: exactly equal amounts of love for completely dissimilar qualities.
I kind of want to digress here and gossip about the people in my life. In my high school blogging days I would write mile-long LiveJournal entries about every single person I encountered in my life, as if every day was the Sophie Edition of Us Weekly (Vince Levy was wearing purple skinny jeans! Ian made an inappropriate joke over the phone! Trevor Hancy is scared of horror films!). But the truth is that relationships are beautiful as private quietnesses; and I have a paper diary, after all, to expound upon my thoughts on Ben Stevens' current wardrobe (hip). But, just in case you're out there wishing I would tell you about the fashionable and interesting people I surround myself with, I will write ONLY TEN WORDS on each of the ten people I have seen in the past week:
1. Jessica has grown up and fixes trails. She has dimples.
2. Ben Stevens is enjoying his life: Life's primary goal fulfilled.
3. Ben Malbin brings more people more joy than anyone. Underpants!
4. I wish I could sit inside Sam's mind for years.
5. Alexis is probably more mature than me. This is unacceptable.
6. My mom is still the best person to gossip with.
7. Leah makes me want to live my own life better.
8. Dad had lots of surgery and he still looks good.
9. It is impossible to be near Hannah and not smile.
10. Who knew Ethan was such a good farmer? Eugene did.
I'll mention here that I can't believe I got through this entire summer without getting my act together enough to see Andrew, or Nadim, or Ariana (who are all only four hours from me as I write). I think a pretty big part of me secretly can't quite go back to Whitman College yet. I need a little more distance before I can go back and not be a total nostalgia-obsessed basketcase. I know that basketcase is not a good look for me (trust me: I have experience in that department), so I stayed here. Maybe just for the vegan food.
For the coming year, I primarily want to learn how to build things. I went to Sam's house and I'm surprised that he was able to get me to leave (luckily, the Aldens have a forklift for exactly this purpose) because it was the best house I've seen in my whole entire life. The main reason for its perfection was all the cool stuff his mom built. I want to build cool stuff. I'm going to subscribe to construction magazines and hoard sun-bleached discarded wooden planks.
Also, I am going to fix my own bike.
I should warn you that I'm in the midst of consolidating all my blogs into one server, so someday you're going to have to change your RSS feeds in order to read all these fascinating and life-changing details about my existance in New Orleans. I am hoping that in the coming year I will suddenly be at 100% fun all the time, so I may have to start naming my blog entries after the names of songs just like they do on Degrassi: The Next Generation. Be warned. Change is on its way.
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