Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

The Right Directions

Apparently I gave the right directions.

Not always, but am I more lkely to remember giving wrong directions than correct ones? A for-instance: years ago, one night in Bangkok downtown Portland near the Blue and Red MAX Lines -- this would've been before the Yellow and Green MAX Lines were added to the Transit Mall, so these were the only light rail tracks downtown -- I was walking when a couple asked me where the Rock Bottom Brewery was. I blanked. I could picture it, but not where. I gave a vague "I think" and pointed, and the couple said thanks and started walking. I'm not sure how far they'd walked before I realized I'd sent them the wrong way. I do know I didn't go after them to say Wait! Um, I'm not sure which way it is, but it's not that way. It's in a block between one of the MAX tracks, so I think it's that way. Maybe I could've volunteered to walk along with them until we found it. I just know I didn't help them find it.

I do remember such stuff. You are not surprised.

I'm always trying to be better than that, now. Like this afternoon. I'd needed to get a haircut (OK, get it out of your system, say "You needed A LOT of hairs cut, right?," there, you feel better) and I was disinclined to either take the bus or drive, so walking it was. And as I wasn't in a hurry, I decided to take a slightly longer route than usual, down first to Holgate to cross the viaduct over the Brooklyn Rail Yard. After I'd gotten over the hump of the viaduct and was heading down towards the east side of the yard, I saw a man pushing a bike and a cart, loaded with goods and junk. In the curb lane. Where he'd be hidden from view of cars once he was over the hump and headed down to the west side. He saw me, and once we were close enough to hear each other over traffic he asked, "Where's the recycling depot?"

I multi-tasked then: saying he was close to it but had overshot it, while I double-timed past him and started making hand signals to drivers heading up the viaduct to give the guy some room. Traffic, bless it, cooperated, and I looked back to see him getting his bike onto the sidewalk. Not yet the heavy cart. I walked back to him. He asked "I have to go back up the hill?!," meaning the hill starting at about S.E. 26th Ave that levels out about 30th. I quickly reassured him that no, it was on...

...and then I got worried I'd give the wrong street. I know where the Far West Fibers recycling depot is (in fact, I know the four locations it's been at in the years I've lived in this neighborhood, but I digress), but was it 26th or 27th? Don't give the wrong street, I thought, then held onto the bike as he gave the final shoves to get the cart onto the sidewalk. I told him I thought I knew the correct street for him to go down, but I'd walk down to the end of the viacduct and point it out for sure. He told me he'd ride down the rest of the way. Normally I get annoyed at bicycles on sidewalks, but I turned off my annoyance this time, and jogged behind him to the traffic light at Holgate and 26th. And by then I'd remembered that yes, the depot is down 26th; 27th doesn't go through far enough there to reach it. "It's down a few blocks on the left," I said, gesturing towards the east side of 26th. He thanked me and waited for the light to let him cross, then did.

I'll hope he didn't overshoot the depot. HE ALMOST CERTAINLY DIDN'T, and besides the street doesn't continue for too far past the depot; I'd told him it was on 26th, so I'll have to hope he found it. (I wish I could be sure he'd found it.) And I got on with my errand.

In other news, I got a haircut. This is called burying the lede.

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