Wandering Goat

Eugene, Oregon

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Our tableauxists, JHT and Thos, collectively known as CT, begin their On The Road trip in Eugene, OR, by cycling on leased comfort bikes through icy August morning fog to the Wandering Goat that JHT had been raving about for weeks, though he’d been there only twice. “I hear they’ve got vegan omelettes and home fries!” Free-locking their Treks together, they wade through all manners of sprawled scabby white drifters on the sidewalk and peep the menu. To our heroes’ mutual disappointment they offer only breads. Choose your format: bagel or biscuit.

They situate their platters of runny gravy with biscuits at a steel mesh table which is situated to view what Thos suggests is the most awful, lifeless vistas of any cafe tableaux’d (as opposed to equally awful yet inhabited vistas as seen from cafes on Moreland Ave). Nary a soul pads about the gray concrete bunkers, warehouses, or gridiron of railroad tracks. JHT retorts, “Naw, at least the industrial is industrious! And I love the sound of a good train whistle!”

wandering goat biscuits

Gravy…with biscuits

Thos spends half a minute watching a tweaker and his partner measuring out teenths of stems and seeds into little baggies when he realizes he has made eye contact, inadvertently inviting a conversation. “How is it going?” chirps the tweaker. Thos tries to remain non-confrontational by referring to the weather; his remarks are reasonable, as it is fucking freezing in Eugene, in August. A freight train lumbers through the crossing blaring its horn. The tweaker returns the hail with his middle finger. CT seizes the opportunity to stare intently at its empty breakfast plates.

Some scabrous bleach-blondes leatherettes holler for Thos’s new b’hoys to join them. JHT fears further interrupting by the growing midden of street trash and trails Thos when he re-enters for refills. After ensuring that the barista did not mix up the mugs, lest he put his mouth on the rim that JHT had used, Thos insists on sitting indoors, on the ‘stage’, where he can be away from the chilly air breezing through the open windows, while JHT accuses him of choosing a vantage from where he can see up a plumper’s skirt. Thos admits nothing; it was an unhappy coincidence.

wandering goat

Industrious Gray Industry

Several intelligent-sounding conversations burble in here. An moustache’d undergrad in loafers reads Bataille’s Erotism. Still, some crummy art adorns the walls — pastel seascapes and portraits of horses by a woman who has been heard bragging, “I finished 80 paintings last month.”

“Who shows their work in places like this?” JHT wonders aloud.

“I’m not an artist,” Thos confesses, “but I did consider scrounging something to submit to this new gallery that is opening in West Philly.”

“Mhm.” -JHT

“I know that you don’t want an audience, that you don’t want people to see your work, but I would like to hear an opinion on my shit from the public once.” -Thos

“What? One of your ‘sections’? Didn’t you show something at that cat benefit?” -JHT

“Fuck. My thing sold for five bucks, which was the minimum bid. Photos of potted plants and rain puddles were going for hundreds. I was so pissed. Being raised in the United States, it has been beaten into my psyche that the amount of money something garners indicates its intrinsic value. You can’t overcome it.” -Thos

“Everything that is commercially successfully is terrible. Therefore, if you become successful then your work is a failure.” -JHT

Thos expresses doubt at this reasoning. Pedalling off in search of a gently-used hoodie for the climatically hoodwinked Thos they find only windbreakers and all-over print Jesse Pinkmanesque gear. The cloud cover burns off all at once at 10:30AM.

wandering goat

“Would a coffee-drinker strain like that?” -Thos
“I don’t know; he looks a bit dried out.” -JHT

Cafe Tableaux. On The Road. Summer 2012
Chapter 2: Perk Coffee & Espresso »

Wandering Goat. Eugene, OR Perk Coffee and Espresso. Eugene, OR Java Break.  Lawrence, KS Aimees Coffeehouse.  Lawrence, KS Black Sheep. Sioux Falls, SD The Fix. Buffalo, WY Coffea.  Sioux Falls, SD Liquid Planet. Missoula, MT Zootown Brew.  Missoula, MT
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Wandering Goat

268 Madison Street
Eugene, Oregon 97402
http://www.wanderinggoat.com/


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is a compendium of literary, anecdotal musings on coffeeshop and cafe culture.
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