Letters from the road: San Francisco and Portland

Mike: Tamara, where are we?

Tamara: Where are we?

Mike: Yeah.

Tamara: Uh, we’re in Dolores Park in San Francisco.

Mike: What’s it like here?

Tamara: There are less hipsters and people selling pot brownies than usual. I think because of [the nearby music festival] Outsidelands.

Mike: Here comes Flink … that’s a question.

Tamara: That’s a question?

Flink: [Suggesting an interview question] Dear diary, what’s your fucking deal?

Tamara: Did Mike ask you really probing questions? Like “where are we”?

Flink: He asked “is everything okay”, which I answered somewhat peevishly.

Mike: I’m sorry, these are hard to do and the pace of the interview is really slow.

Flink: I doooooon’t knooooooow — No, don’t write that for God’s sake.

Mike: Tamara, we saw a goat and a camera crew earlier. Can you describe some cinematography that you thought was especially moving?

Flink: Man, some of these guys are really good at throwing frisbees.

Tamara: That’s a really bad segue. I watched this short documentary in China [wherein a guy wanted to explode a really big rock for the sake of art and the final explosion shot was really cool. He had to find the right rock and bribe local officials.]

Flink: I can safely say I would watch the fuck out of that.

Tamara: When we walked in, we didn’t realize it was 45 minutes long, and the story leading up to it got kind of boring. But the explosion was good … Now I want to watch this documentary about the goat.

Hello, Portland! It’s about 6:30 pm at the Stumptown Coffee on Division St. in Southeast Portland. The Dolores Park interview is from August 12th. Today I went for a hike in the Mount Hood Wilderness with Tamara; she flew up here from San Francisco for the weekend.

I went to school here in Portland, at Reed College, and lived in Southeast Portland for four years after I graduated. In a lot of ways, Portland still feels like home. The summer after my sophomore year I spent a lot of time in the Mount Hood Widerness, and it was nice to revisit an old trail that I still sort of remembered. We hiked up to Burnt Lake from the south trailhead.

Portland is a nice city. And I’ve tried to settle in my home state of Iowa as an adult, but it’s never quite worked out right for me. So I think I’ll spend some more time traveling this month, then settle here in Portland, again. The trick to living here is not to be bothered by skinny guys with ridiculous mustaches. For years and years I wished Civil War-era facial hair would make a comeback — be careful what you wish for, I guess.

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