Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tom's Portland: The Further Adventures of The Man of Portland

The Man of Portland is proud of his rail system! The Man of Portland has set it up so that you don't even have to pay to ride the rails inside the boundaries of what The Man of Portland has decided is the part of the city worth being in.

This does not include the bar where you can hear what it would be like if Portishead and the Dead Weather got drunk together, or the theater where you can see Taxi Driver on the big screen if you give $3 to the guy at the box office, or the creole restaurant under the Morrison Bridge where you can get catfish jambalaya and where the waiter (who looks more like a Jake than any man in the history of the world has ever looked) will make sure the foil around your leftovers is folded into the shape of the cuddly animal of your choosing. But then, it also doesn't include the areas where The Man of Portland puts his homelesses and colouredses, so he figures he's breaking even!

Anywho, The Man of Portland has divided his trains into three lines: a Red Line, a Yellow Line and a Blue Line. And on these lines run different coloured trains: red trains, yellow and blue trains.

Logically enough, the colour of the train corresponds in no way whatsoever to the line it runs. A good way to find this out is to catch a yellow train because you want to be on the Yellow Line. You will be surprised where you might end up!

But The Man of Portland doesn't always have time to think things through. In Alphabet, just down the road from the Carl Jung Library, is a lovely little coffee shop where I once spent a day writing in exchange for frequent purchases of coffee and gifts of intellectual bons mot for the waitstaff. (At one point the older man at the next table, who had explained to me he was having considerable trouble with Linux, was engaged in an intense discussion with The Man of Portland about origami. Without so much as a by-your-leave, the coot lifted the scrawny haunch nearest to my seat and favoured me with a trio of the heartiest exclamations his bowels were fit to proclaim, continuing his discussion with nary an acknowledgment from either of us).

On one of my last days in Portland, a friend and I were enjoying a coffee at this very cafe when who should bumble up the street but our old friend, The Man of Portland? He hurriedly asked everyone seated along the store's front if they might vacate their tables for him.

Two of the neighborhood's Prophets - every good neighborhood in every good city in every good America, I have found, has several Prophets, sage old fellows who are the area and will brook no hoitiness-nor-toitiety if it gets in the way of their daily Business whatever exactly that is but will be only too happy to accomodate otherwise - were seated alongside the cafe's front, enjoying a Saturday afternoon coffee and conversational ramble. They, like the rest of the patrons, were loathe to leave their seats simply because The Man of Portland bade them do so. The Man of Portland, all bluster and impatience, unholstered a hefty laptop from his bag, waving it in their faces as if it were a business card, or a protester's placard, or his genitals.

"This is how I make eighty thousand a year!", he barked.

The Prophets did not stand.


someonefromsometime said...

Great story! I like the first pic. IT's pretty cool.

I'll await your next installment of your adventures!

Amber said...

That is the most poetic description of a fart that I will ever hope to read.

ontic5 said...

How is it that you always find those strange people it´s worth writing stories about? Or are there simply so many of them that you can´t avoid them even if you would try?

Homage said...

@Ontic: I am a strange-and-interesting-person magnet. And also a strange-and-interesting person-magnet.

ontic5 said...

Not the worst of traits for someone in your kind of business.