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D L Johnson

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View From my Sixth Floor Balcony-Go West Grasshopper, Go West
9/3/2009 1:39:15 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

From my sixth Floor Balcony-Go West Grasshopper, Go West.

This morning while looking out over my balcony. I watched the sun break through the West Hills surrounding the Portland skyline. It was a clean, crisp morning, perhaps a prelude to the fall… also a bit invigorating. While the coffee perked and dripped, I thought about what I needed to do today, and the first thing that came to mind was that I needed to get my monthly bus pass; now the dilemma; I could take the 19 Woodstock on its east route or I could catch the 19 on its return to the city, decisions, decisions.

I chose the city route for only one reason. The 19 stops at Pioneer Square, where I purchased the pass, then caught the light rail which will took me to SW 10Th and Salmon, where I caught the streetcar that stops at NW 10Th and Couch, then, quick as a bunny, I cross the street and head directly for Powell’s Books. Enough said.

My normal plan of action is to usually head for the poetry section or browse the ten plus rows of Novels and Thrillers. For some reason I stopped just inside the store to view one of their many sale racks when I noticed a book written by Ray Carver that was then made into a move by Robert Altman. The title of the book is “Short Cuts.” I have been a Ray Carver fan for many years and have owned a few of his books of poetry, but not his short story books… this was my first.

After paying for the book, I went straight away to the coffee bar. I wanted to enjoy a coffee, and read the book, or as much of it as possible before heading home.

The book contains 10 of Carver’s short stories, and I quickly read the first three stories, when my eyes went fuzzy, lately a problem that occurs far too often. I set the book aside for a few minutes and slowly sipped the remainder of my coffee, when my eyes began to wander.

I am a people watcher, have been for years, and hope to be for many more years to come.

The Cuddly Couple;
Portland will never be known as a city of romance, but even in late summer love blooms, indeed.

A couple, perhaps in their late 30’s or early 40’s, sat at a table next to the window that borders Burnside Avenue. When I first sat down with my book they faced each other, with hands reaching across the table, barely touching each other, but you could sense the electricity in the air. Soon, very soon, the woman had moved her chair to the corner of the table, perhaps 6, or 8 inches from its original spot. The woman had short blond hair, a green top, and beige shorts. After a few minutes, I looked up and once again, she moved the chair, even closer to the guy. He had a happy smiling face, baldhead, faded blue jeans, and nice looking button down shirt. It was hard to tell whether he had tried to dress up or down for this meeting.

I was not sure if this was a rendezvous of star-crossed lovers or a married couple with children that needed a day away from the kids. It was hard to tell, but I was there for the long haul. Go ahead, say it, my voyeuristic tentacles were locked and loaded.

By now, the couple had moved even closer. Well more accurately, she had moved closer to him. This time, she was inches away, her left leg crossed her right leg, but nuzzled cozily against his right leg, and he was rigid, well at least the leg was, rigid, that is. I almost suggested that they go get a room, but what the hell; I was having too much fun.

Roller Derby Lady:
Sitting at the table to my right were two women, one was slight with long brown hair. She wore a pullover, sort of dark pink with dark slacks. Her friend, who appeared to be in her 50’s, wore a yellow sleeveless top, with a flowery pastel skirt. Her glasses were the granny type and she had very blond hair, I’m not sure, if it was bottle blond, but it was tied back in a ponytail. The distinctive thing I noticed about the two women was that for the hour or so I sat at my table, they did not say a word. For some reason the blond woman reminded me of one of those Roller Derby women that use to be on television, she was big and bulky; she was the one in the pack of skaters that stayed to the back and waited for some poor soul to try to pass her. The chances of anyone sneaking in behind her were nil to none, and I know for sure she could beat the crap out of me, if she wanted to.

Roller Derby Lady had a tattoo on her left arm…a big tattoo of a rose, and inscribed in gothic type was the word “Anna.” Just before they left, RDL spoke and said to the other woman…”Anna, are you ready for lunch?” Just like that, they were gone.

Have you ever wondered?
This morning I had the perfect view of the people walking up and down Burnside Avenue, and one thing struck me about the way men and women walk down the street. I am speaking about couples that are together, but not really walking together. Back when I was married, whenever my wife and I walked down the street I wanted her to walk beside me, but today I see more and more couples where most of the time the man is 5 paces ahead of his wife, and sometimes because her legs are shorter than his, she has a hard time keeping up. Why can’t he slow down and wait for her. I know you’re thinking about the cultural thing; and in some cases, that’s true, but it seems to happen more and more, does anybody know why? There is more I would like to say on this issue, but it will have to wait for another time.

I’m glad the view from my balcony gave me the inspiration to head west because it was a good trip.


Comments (2)

More Blogs by D L Johnson
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Starlight On Stone WEST (ebook) by Jansen Estrup

A bold young girl, her companion and two bewildered giants flee assassins, pirates and a looming dark age. But how will any of them survive when they find themselves trapped betwee..  
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