I'm writing outside. I don't usually do that. Now I'm remembering a U of O Honors College professor who said that the ideal way to write is outside, under a tree, with a handy bottle of wine. At least I'm outside. At least it's comfortable outside.
Maybe I can make the following long story short: to quote David Byrne, "How did I get here?" It's taken multiple months of angst over (slowly) looking for a room to rent, and for a long time hearing from LITERALLY NO ONE about rooms to rent, and also wondering whether I was testing the patience of my studio apartment's landlord.
(I have some relief knowing I'm not the only person recently who kept sending out queries about rooms I saw ads for, and not hear from whomever placed the ads. Still sucks, but things happened eventually, right?)
I didn't look at all on the west side of Portland; come to think of it, the furthest west I've looked for places to live while here was NW Portland not far from NW 21st and 23rd, now called Trendy-First and Trendy-Third. I looked at apartments and rooms there in 2000, briefly wondering if I could completely get rid of my car. That was then. Fourteen years later, I like being in East Portland. Heck, I've liked being here almost since first moving here.
But back to finding a space. I didn't get a viable lead until, I kid you not, just over a month ago. House on SE 39th, a.k.a. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., between Hawthorne and Division. It made me smile that it had the same street number as the house my family had lived in back in the 1980s; "It's like it's meant for me to be there!" I thought. No.
I'll admit a low point, but it was not as low as it could've been because I'd already found the place I've now moved into: on Saturday, May 24th, I followed up with a landlord for a room to rent in Lents. No, not Lents, the map on the ad was completely wrong: it was a large house near SE 82nd and Holgate, maybe a mile north of where the map said.* And that landlord never told me his name. He may -- MAY -- have given me his initials, but I'm not sure. He gave me the address, and that morning I went over, and I almost immediately felt on guard with him. Bad sign. So was my asking if the house had been two houses joined together, as it looked kind of rambling, and his answer was tinged with the sense that I must've been an idiot. (He said it had been an adult foster care home. Now I wonder if that era of the house is represented by fossilized remains.)
But. I found a place. I'm getting along with my first roommates in 12 years. And one of the two cats who lives here has decided I pass and deserve to get to pet him; the other, I've already been told, will need time to warm up to me. It's good, cat, I'm worth warming up to.
* Amusingly and maddeningly, the house-mapping feature on another of the online sites I used for room-hunting so often gave totally inaccurate sites -- several houses were shown on Downtown Portland's Transit Mall, and one was on the below-grade connection between NE 82nd and Portland International Airport. No, NOT a place where houses are.