The man with the over-amplified guitar stops strumming as I pass:

“Hey, you, that’s my coat!”

“I’m sorry?” I stop. I’m a glutton for crazy person conversations. I regularly approach picketers and soap-box preachers. By myself, by choice. That’s another story.

“Yeah, that’s my coat!”

“This is your coat?”

“Yeah!” People are starting to watch. “Remember, you came to my house last night, you punched me in the face, and you took my coat?”

“This coat? With the flower?” My friend Claire made me this awesome fabric flower I wear pinned to my lapel. “Is this your flower?”

“Hell yeah. Now gimme back my coat”

“Sorry, man… I like your coat. I worked hard for it. I’m totally keeping it.”

He smiles. Apparently I’ve passed my standard Portland insta-banter test. “Alright.” He picks up the guitar, the impossibly loud guitar, and I continue my walk home.

I love this city. I love it for its wackos and its artists and its incredible walk-ability. I love the lost little girl feeling I get from wandering, the countless tiny neighborhoods, the chalk on the sidewalk, the posters on the walls. I love the man with the blanket and the police on their horses and the churches on every corner, filed neatly between the Planned Parenthoods and strip clubs. I love that everyone talks to me, for whatever reason… I’m so thankful that everyone talks.

The girl with the acid wash skinny jeans stopped me on the street the other night to tell me she liked my outfit. Why am I the only person with passive-aggressive karma? God is cool.

Wish you were here. Wish I could walk with you.


  • Tamara March 20, 2009 at 10:20 am

    >This is Hilarious. I love it!I think you would like Ocean Beach San Diego too. There are lots of conversations with crazy hippies here.

  • Diane Davis March 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    >i love this blog post. love it. love your open spirit and your inclusive energy. love it.