Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Punked in Portland Part II

Punked in Portland Part II: in which my wife and I found ourselves in Portland, OR--and I do mean found ourselves. Allow me to explain...

Donna and dogs at fountain, Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Joan of Arc, Portland, OR

During the winter of 2008-2009 my wife Donna and I settled into our new digs in Portland--I had gotten a job the previous July (and managed to keep it) and Donna was continuing to get work in TV production back in L.A. Well, the L.A. work began to wear on Donna, it began to wear on me and it began to wear on the tires of our car, which had to make 1,000 mile journeys to Hollywood when it wasn't making 1,000 mile journeys to Portland. We were being punked by Donna's career, which was, frankly, beating the shit out of her. As a Production Designer, Donna experienced too many long days, too many shifting alliances, nebulous promises, producer edicts, forward thrusting back stabs--and that was just at the Craft Services table. By the time of our move to the Land of Beavers and Ducks it was time for her to try something new, but the cache and money of television production were better than just about everything else she felt she might be qualified to do. Like an addict, she knew she should quit Hollywood, but she could not do it alone.

Chauncy likes the Pacific Northwest

Time passed in 2009 on into 2010--our lives were tense and Donna was tenser. Donna's sister and father were facing major health issues, my father was on his way to the vanishing point, we missed being close to our families at a time when they could use our help--Donna ended up spending a lot of time with her sister, who went through hell and came out the other side, Donna helping as much as she could, keeping a brave, optimistic face which melted into tears when she was beyond the line of sight of her family. Like any good spouse who is there for his or her partner, I thought my beloved was fucking gonzo. But guess what: the worse things got the closer we became, the more we discovered each other and clung to each other, perhaps for fear of drowning. And this being Oregon, I mean fear of literal drowning, i.e. being waterboarded by god. Ain't no fucking metaphor when you have record setting rain everywhere you look. March's name should be changed to "Wade." June of 2010 wasn't busting out all over: it was leaking like a sieve.

Mt. St. Helens, located north of Portland, Oregon, is an example of punking writ large...

So, to race to the finish: having moved to Portland to try something new Donna and I found something not so new: each other. She panicked and I held her. I drifted and she brought me ashore. We still can't pretend to have an identifiable plan, but we have each other, and that's pretty good, considering. I am running out of time tonight--back at work early tomorrow, the cats need their boxes cleaned, the dogs have to go out one more time to pee on the lawn. I wish I could give this writing project more of myself, but I have a play to write (I've avoided this about as long as I can stand) and who knows? I may even get to explore this town in the way that it deserves. There is a vibe here that says "Do it, fool." I like that.

Even if Portland is smirking at us wee mortals, I respect it in a soggy, beleagured sort of way. And when it comes to punking, there are far more noteworthy punks going on in the world--for instance, that phony pizza delivery to bin Laden in Hey Abbottadad, Pakistan will no doubt go down as the Greatest Punk of All--LOL! bin Laden thought it was a porno! Punked! Free chicken wings my ass!

It has been said that Jesus was going to move to Portland but at the last minute started cracking up and headed for the desert. As if.

Stay tuned for Punked in Portland Part III: No Spring For You!




At 3:02 PM, Blogger barryshap said...

While not exactly a happy ending, this was a promising sequel. You do indeed have one another and that is BIG. Portland is not Gitmo, but neither is it Todos Santos. I'm a little hesitant about part III from the titillating title. Yeah, I keep hearing this has been an unusual spring, and the winter was atypical. I have learned that is the M.O. here... nothing is "typical." I just came in cuz it was too hot lying out in the sun!!! As you say, there are far more noteworthy punks going on in the world. The Rascals didn't go underground when you left AV. The helicopters more than likely haven't stopped and that guy with the "Why lie? I wanna beer" sign is probably still harassing the businesses on the boulevard. Would I rather be somewhere else? Sometimes. Would I go back? Not in a minute. Hang in, Jivester. Summer's right around the corner... really.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Just as good as part one, and in a totally different and life affirming way. Beautiful!

Love and Peace,


Post a Comment

<< Home