Tragic Heroes of Portland: 53-year-old Ricky John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche-

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I never knew that Portland was the city of roses until I got here.  The sweet aroma swallowed me as I walked through the Northeast Portland neighborhoods. My partner and I were headed toward one of the many available coffee shops.

After driving over 3,000 miles to get here, I was excited. So ready to leave the negative religious right pro-confederacy attitudes behind me in the south. I had no idea that the first day I got to Portland that something horrible would happen.

Something that would affirm my understanding that white supremacy and related violence is not just something that happens in the south.

Leaving Florida and getting lost in New Orleans

Walked no less then 10 miles in New Orleans today …phone died by noon. Acquired coffee with a voodoo priestess, purchased lucky chicken foot, blew kisses to the dirty kids in the french quarter. Walked around exploring, eventually I find some broken guitars, and end up in the bad side of town.

Sat on a stoop and made a conversation happen with a deaf guy who had a thug life tattoo..walked around with a guardian angel named Ronnie.

I carried two plates of shelter dinner walking with him, trying to find a phone charger. Then, I gave up and traded $7 and a 25 oz Hurricane for a him to wait with me at a bus stop. Made way back to business district. Could not find where I parked, kind of panicked a little, just walked around in circles until I found the coop in some hole-in-the-wall parking lot that I probably walked past 3 times.

I then left, stayed in a dive hotel, woke up and headed back on the interstate.

Staying in Colorado with Billy Bongster, AKA “Dad”

I drove through Texas, through a small part of New Mexico and all the way to  Colorado City, Colorado. This is where I stayed for a week with my dad and saw his latin fusion band, Sonrisa, play live a few times.

After that, I picked up a passenger / good friend from Colorado Springs and we left for Oregon after a fun night in Denver at my dads show.

Arriving in Oregon

When we got here, to Portland on May 23rd. Friday afternoon marked the beginning of Ramadan and I was planning to fast myself for unrelated stomach flu reasons. 

We had fun. Delicious foods and bus riding and exploring the city.  I didn’t read about it until the next day, on Saturday, that 3 men had been stabbed.

Three white men on a train in Portland for defending some dark skinned teenage girls from a terrorist.


I cannot stop thinking about it. How proud I am to be a human along side of them, of how protective they were in the face of evil. I want this heroism to be normalized.  To become a standard.

I must nod to the sacrifice these men made and hope that more men after them will stand up for the rights and comforts of all humans. Rest in peace, Gentlemen. Thank you for everything.

The train loves you, too.

A long drive and a fresh tattoo

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Portland, Oregon is 3,051 miles away from my current location in Florida. That is equivalent to 46 hours of driving. When I wake up on Wednesday morning, I’ll be sure to apologize to my car for the mileage and extra luggage. My journey to the West coast will finally begin.

I cannot wait to stop in the diners, drive through America and plant my feet in new earth.

As cliche as it sounds, I am going to try to finding myself out there. It feels like I’ve spent so many nights grasping at some white lights which have remained just out of my reach. I can only hope I am getting closer.

I’m so ready. I said all the goodbyes I have energy for. I finally got the passion flower inked into my arm forever. Fulfilling a promise to my sister from 5 1/2 years ago.

The passion flowers in Moon Lake are blooming the day I am scheduled to go over there and pick her my sister. We would be headed to Modern Moose studios on 54.

They were breathtaking. I went outside to capture photos of them while Allie got ready to go.


On the ride there, should told me how hard this week has been. She spoke about how Ezekial loves to smile, and how he has a few less tubes in his face.

I’m happy for him, we’re going to grab a small bite to each before spending 6 hours at the tattoo shop getting some memories represented on our bodies somewhere for the rest of our lives.

I loved the pain, unsurprisingly. I’m not sure I’d ever get another one, as I never saw myself the “tattoo” type of person. Already, the conversations the tattoo helps initiate with other humans is noticeable and endearing.  Three more days, and I’m gone. Me and my mini cooper and a lot of stuff and memories, driving for 46 hours. Maybe even, probably, even longer.