I didn’t even know that Portland was the city of roses until I got here. The sweet aroma swelled me as I walked through the Northeast Portland neighbourhoods towards a coffee shop. I drove over 3,000 miles to get here and I was excited and ready to leave the negative religious right pro-confederacy attitudes behind in the south.
Walked no less then 10 miles in New Orleans today …phone died by noon. Got coffee with a voodoo priestess, bought a chicken foot, blow kisses to the dirty kids in the french quarter, find some broken guitar, somehow 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..walk around with a guardian angel named Ronnie with two plates of shelter dinner trying to find a phone charger, 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. Left, stayed in a dive hotel, woke up and left again. I stayed in Colorado City, CO for a week with my dad and saw his latin fusion band, Sonrisa, play live a few times.
And then 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 normalised. 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.