The mischief I'd been up to that prompted that comment is long forgotten, but I clearly recall mentally smacking my forehead and thinking: "That explains EVERYTHING!" After that, I would perk up whenever someone knocked at the door at night, picturing a swarthy man in a vest with a bandana, gold earring, and violin, come to pick me up. My real father. I never felt that I fit in - not at home, not at school nor, when I got older, at any job I ever worked.
Perhaps this wanderlust is an expression of my desire to find someplace where I feel as if I truly belong. So, when my young friend, Melody, asked me to visit her in Portland - a city whose motto, she claimed, was "Keep Portland Weird" - I had hopes that I had found my Mecca.
I arrived in Portland at 10 pm last night. Its reputation as a green city was immediately confirmed when I confronted this item in the airport restroom:
UP for liquids; DOWN for solids. Very Left Coast. Green, but not exactly weird.
And, speaking of green. Spring had just begun when I left my NW Jersey area. It is full blown here in Portland. Outside the window of the home where I am staying is a tree with an EXPLOSION of white, puffy flowers. Across the street, the sun emphasizes a fuchsia azalea, promising me a very good day. The folks I have met so far - Mel's landlords and two other twenty-somethings who share this home - welcomed me warmly and explained Portland's arrangement into quadrants, readying me for whatever beautiful, colorful, magical mischief this gypsy can arrange.
I hope some of it is weird.