September 13th, 2017

Flavored Calories.

Food smells are free

Since earlier on Tuesday I'd earned a TriMet day pass and wouldn't have to pay additional fares, last night I didn't go straight home after being out for the day.

I'd spent time at Beulahland, visiting with Mary-Suzanne (who has a Tuesday morning shift there now) and Dawn Taylor (who went there to write), then I walked and bussed back to SE Portland and the Holgate Library...

(Sidebar: Out of slightly morbid and sad curiosity, I first went up to NE Glisan and walked past the closed building where, for a year, Big-Ass Sandwiches was a brick-and-mortar before the Woods closed it. In the year since then, unfortunately and sadly, the building was badly damaged by fire. It's abandoned and boarded up, I believe slated for demolition. I feel bad for the residents who lost their apartments. I also wonder if I've been past that building more often in the past year than the Woods have.)

...okay, back to the library.

I'd read while getting more power into my tablet, and left soon before the Holgate library closed; on Tuesdays it closes at 8:00. The heat of the day was radiating away by the time I left, and with a "why not?" feeling, I walked back to SE 82nd Ave. and the 72 bus, southbound.

Not all that far south of where I live is the large food cart pod Cartlandia. A sprawling, partially repurposed parking lot just south of the Springwater Corridor (a major biking/walking route...and also where currently a lot of people camp along or near, because being homeless is an issue in town), with a bar building off to the side. Still a fair number of people there late, plus some carts still open. I found an unobtrusive place to sit outside, got my tablet back out, and read further through the urban fantasy novel The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, as the night cooled further and the sky darkened. Food-cooking smells went past me. I did not mind.

By the way, I finished the book once I got home last night, and thoroughly appreciated it. I'd borrowed an e-copy from the library without knowing a thing about its story, just wanting to sample Maureen Johnson, whom I've meant to read. I can be spoiler-free as I recommend the book: sincere, suspenseful, and often very funny without undercutting the drama. And it's literal life-and-death drama. Also, I'd started reading it knowing that it was Book 1 of a series, but until halfway through I thought I don't see how this becomes a series. Then, halfway through, I went ...oh. NOW I see how.
Whale fluke

"To Wrongly Justify," 8/23/2017-9/9/2017

To Wrongly Justify
by Christopher Walsh, 8/23/2017-9/9/2017

...What if I didn't know I'd lied?
What if I'd lied enough to hide the lie?
Buried the lie in a pile of other lies
I'd provided myself:
-----— You're not like other guys;
-----— You're more "woke" than other guys;
-----— YOU'RE a better guy.
...Had I built up lies?
Had I thought how to self-justify any acts of mine that could trouble,
-----That could harm,
-----Other people Not-Me?
What if I'd thought I'd be Right no matter what?
Does my righteousness rise to the point of self-righteousness?
What if,
Like too many of my fellow fellows,
I'd ply lies, plus elide
That I'd,
-----If I could,
----------Be unfair,
----------Take a wrong advantage,
----------Treat others as a prize I had won and could use?
That is true of too many guys.
...Can I try
Not to be one of the Too Many?
Can I whittle down the size of too many guys' entitlement?
Can I starve that entitlement until it dies?
And can I walk the walk that leads to
No longer hiding behind the self-justifying lies?
Will I not "let it slide"?

...We guys can be better.
And I believe Kai.

© Christopher Walsh, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Walsh (chris_walsh) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Me 2 (B&W)

I feel lucky about this. It should be expected.

I almost never blog about where I currently live.

Where I've lived, that's a rich potential source of entries, yes, but since moving to this house in summer 2014, I've almost never posted about it.

I don't really have to.

Luckily, the people I live with and I all have mutual respect for each other, and for our boundaries. As most of you who've had roommates know, THAT DOESN'T ALWAYS HAPPEN. And it didn't happen when I previously lived with other people, from January 2001 to August 2002. I rented a basement bedroom in a house near SE 50th and Hawthorne (also near the now knocked-down Sewickly's), and from four to five other people shared the house. Annoyingly, over those 20 months I lived there, I first realized I can't trust the other guy who lives in the basement; he doesn't respect my boundaries. (I don't know if I've even referred to that guy by name in my blog; I did, years later, refer to him as "A.") Like I said, it was annoying, but I adapted. Then, in Month 19 (July 2002), that number went up by two: another resident did something that made me see that he hadn't respected my boundaries, either.

My mind quoted both Eddie Murphy and Jordan Peele: "GET, OUT."

Six weeks after I confronted Fellow Resident # 2 about what he'd done, I moved into the Brooklyn neighborhood apartment I lived in, by myself, for the next 12 years. Studio apartment. Enough space for me and no one else. There were issues involving other residents in the building, but over time that drama lessened to almost nothing, especially after the building changed owners from a management agency to a family. (Back when the agency was running it, one resident pissed off someone so much that that someone attacked the resident's Ford Bronco. Nothing comparable happened after!)

All that was pre-blog; I started mine two years later. I've always found stuff to blog about (I hope it's interesting enough!), but when I moved in here I gave myself this guideline: Only blog about house-related stuff with the other residents' permission. And every time a potential house-related topic has come up, I decided No, I don't need to blog about that, so I don't need to ask.

It's one way I respect the boundaries and needs of the others who live here. It's a relief that we all do. And a relief that I don't feel a need to process anything about living here, the way I've needed to process how the residents of the house near Hawthorne didn't respect me or my boundaries.

Here's to good living arrangements.