Hood River, Oregon

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Composed over 2.5 years with the goal of embedding a collection of words meant to seduce search engines.

It is a challenge to get this down after being distanced by yet another move. But, very shortly after he helped load a truck with all my belongings for a move to Eugene (Oregon) and pronounced me dead to Atlanta the mayor and (at the time) sole resident of Brian Town swooped into verdant late summer Oregon to buy some texts at Powell’s and kick it in Hood River at a Petrushka family reunion.

Ground Hood River

As committed as I was to getting used to my new basement monastic cell, the idea of driving (what my phone said was) one hundred seventy five miles to Hood River to peep Brian, whom I would be seeing sooner than I might have had I still lived in Atlanta, was enough to make me drag myself out to brave the bicycle and hobo traffic on I-5.

The interstate slid by like a video.

The displacement was jarring. We came upon Honorable Brian in a little house overlooking the river gorge surrounded by his swarming upper midwest Catholic family. The sun was that clear sun of Oregon, scrubbed clear by months of clouds, though it felt clear to us newcomers who had not yet seen it enshrouded. Under the clear sun the mayor of Briantown looked slightly different. He was not surrounded by downtown Atlantans with names like Buford and Roscoe, or Charlene and Natalie. Nor was he obscured by the unctuous philter of light that rains through any John Portman atrium to spin its inhabitants in cocoons of ennui. Brian was sunlit in Oregon! Brian was alive and not a figment of Atlanta’s Solaris-like projections.

We left Brian’s family in the lurch like a bunch of Polish Penelopes to wander Hood River in search of Tofurky factories and lunch beers. We found both. The representative from Turtle Island Foods had never written back about my tour request so we lurked outside the windowless building a moment before focusing on our lunch beers.

Ground Hood River

It is hard to recollect what we discussed looking out toward the Columbia River gorge (I’d just barreled through in a Penske and would again 11.5 months later). I know now what I might talk to Brian, my fellow 76er, about, two and a half years later: why don’t we send those little drawings through the mail anymore (had we even started the custom at that point?), did you ever watch Santa Barbara?, and didn’t you think Cruz was a hunk?, was it annoying to have me as a teacher when we were the same age and you were more talented than me? I think we talked about the stuffed animal my partner bought to use in her therapy sessions. It was called a Kimochi doll. Somehow he knew what kimochi meant in Japanese.

We lurched through hot sunny streets seeking antidote to our malaise. Mount Hood disappears the closer you get to it. I won’t forget that.

Ground Hood River

We sat outside Ground with forgettable coffee (isn’t it all?). We could have been anywhere. I would have forgotten anywhere. I’ve forgotten nearly every detail of our day in the two and a half years since. Its only the Oulipo search engine bait composition technique that has allowed me to construct this farce of an account. Until looking at my photographs from that day I’d completely forgotten stopping in Portland for a fine vegan meal on the way home. I’ve not forgotten: Kimochi ii!!!!

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12 Oak St
Hood River, Oregon ‎97031

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