Written for yesterday and never posted:
Oregon, Tuesday night. Sitting here in the hotel room watching Willie Wonka on AMC. For reals, this movie is great. I’ve always been attracted to movies and stories that have some element of the fantastic. Fantasy, absurdity, these have always been my favorite narrative elements (either on screen or in print). Anyway, I’m not writing about anything right now, just rambling. Intro paragraph over.
My grandfather turns 89 in a couple weeks now. 89. I was thinking about it today, what kind of things you’ve lived through when you’re 89. He was born in 1915, two years before we joined the Allies against Germany in WWI, although that conflict would come and go before he could remember it. He was 14 when as we entered the Great Depression, and spent those oh-so-glorious teenage years during some of this country’s hardest times. At 26, the 3rd year of post-college career life for me, he would see America again enter into world conflict after the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. Four years and two bombs later, that war also ended – only to see us pick up arms again in Korea a mere five years afterward. The Kennedy assassination, the Beatles, the civil rights movement, the space age, Vietnam, the cold war… so much. Kinda crazy to think about, and he’s got a sister who I think is in her late nineties.
I’ve got the window open in this room because it looks like it might rain tonight. I love the sound of rain, and it’s not my place – so I’m gonna keep the window open and hope it does. It’s a nice little room really, complete with a fridge and stove and dishwasher and microwave. They even give you some complementary popcorn which, were I not fulled up on beers and burger, I’d probably indulge in.
Written for today:
Back in the CtotheA. Tired from getting back late, and just that travel-tired, even though it wasn’t anything heavy-duty. Two days spent in a different state really makes the work week fly by though. Almost Friday and almost camping.
Yesterday was some Jewish holiday (when Moses received the commandments from God I think), and in celebration of this day the Jewish people eat cheesecake (which I’m pretty sure was also given to Moses by God on that same day). Just so happens that the woman who was chairing the meeting my boss and I went to Oregon for is Jewish. Anyway, she had brought like 20 huge cheesecakes to the meeting, and in the end there was one wholly untouched cheesecake leftover. She tried pawn it off on several people, who made various protests about already being overweight and whatnot – and then finally tried to give it to my boss and I. At first we declined, saying we were going to be on a plane in a couple hours. But then someone made a joke about giving the thing to a homeless person on the way to the airport. Struck by the awesomeness of the idea, we decided to do just that.
We set out for the airport, but stuck to the surface streets through the city instead of taking the highway. All the while keeping eyes peeled for those less fortunate than ourselves. You know how, sometimes, you’ll see something every day, some random object in a strange place at home – and you’ll think “wonder what that’s doing there?,” or “what a strange place for that.” but not do anything about it? Then the day comes when you actually need or want said thing, and you can’t for the life of you remember where you’ve been seeing it? It was kinda like that trying to find a bum, when you want one – they’re nowhere to be found, but when your stuffing cash into your wallet after walking out of a fine meal at a nice restaurant – they’re there to hold out a grubby hand and make you feel guilty for being so Republican.
We went on a mission, taking a 40min detour (and really pushing it on our arrive-early airport thing), just to find a homeless person. Finally, with one hour left until the flight too off and still being 20min away from the airport – we found our man. A grey-haired scruffy gentleman sitting on the corner, forlorn and hungry looking as he sat on his bedroll, trash strewn about. We rolled slowly up to the corner, and I held the cheesecake out the window. Before I could offer it to him, he jumped up and moved towards the window. I offered him the cheesecake, telling him it was brand new and we couldn’t take it with us. He smiled, looked at the cheesecake, seemed a little confused, smiled again and thanked us – then backed away and gave us the peace sign with the left hand, cheesecake clutched in the crook of his right arm. It was truly a sight to be seen. We weren’t laughing or anything, I didn’t want this man to think we were making fun of his station in life or anything. Although, after driving away – we did chuckle at how absurd it was. My boss said, “you know what that guy is probably thinking right now? ‘Man, I don’t have a fork, and my hands are filthy, how am I supposed to eat this thing?'” That cracked me up.
Cheesecake to the homeless in celebration of the ten commandments, peeing in the street (on a Salvation Army truck no less), and being served hot wings by a 41 year-old Hooters waitress – I call that a successful trip to Oregon. Oh yeah, and we did some work too.