Back to Normal
The Wild Goose did a lot of what I wanted to have done for me in those couple of days. It had a couple of pool tables, lots of good feeling-sorry-for-yourself country on the jukebox, and an interesting crowd.
This was on the edge of town, where actual people lived. Not college students, tourists or those who had relocated from California to enjoy the unfettered life. No, these were the people who worked at Safeway, or the Shop n' Kart, if you didn't have a union gig, and still had the pleasure of paying the 'prepared food tax', which meant not only a bigger bill at a real restaurant, but even chipping in a bit more for a Slurpee. Or a Meximelt from Taco Bell. In theory, this tax caused us to have far better services, like not drinking the same awful water that Medford drinks.
A fair amount of true rednecks drank there, and there was a small bunch of them in there one gray Sunday afternoon. I was shooting a game of pool to myself, and they were just near enough by that I got involved, at points, in their conversation.
One of them so strongly resembled one of my Jewish Redneck step-uncles, that I just had to ask whether or not he was related to any of the family from Les Schwab country. I don't really know what he thought about that: there's lots of families all over Christendom who haven't admitted that they were Jewish since the Inquisition, and have had centuries upon centuries of inter-marriage since. In any case, we found other conversation topics.
I was working on a crossword puzzle at a table nearby. I was just looped enough to ask one of them for a hint on one of the clues:
"Well," he said, "You need an apostrophe to show the posessive..."
"Dude, " I said, "They don't use those in crosswords."
Then, at some unheard-at-least-to-me cue, everyone in the main part of the bar stood up. As one, they began moving all the tables and chairs to the periphery of the room. I had noticed before that the Goose had Astro Turf floors, but it was hardly the only place I'd seen that be the case. As all these people continued rearranging the furniture, the outlines of the bigger picture emerged: there were little cups nested in the floor.
The entire bar was a miniature golf course, albeit without windmills or big cartoony traps for your balls, but a real live course, all the same. They all got tiny clubs and went right to it.
I laughed my ass off all the way back to Normal Avenue, where I lived. The street was so named for the normal school (which is to say, an 1800's school for teachers) that had been nearby, once. A few days later, I caught a bus in the Safeway parking lot, and was on my way back to my beloved Portland.
The first person I saw off the bus was my friend Daphna, who hadn't seen the hideous bleach job that my girlfriend had insisted I inflict upon my poor scalp.
"What did they do to you?", she asked.
"They bleached my brain...Apparently."
Apparently. Why would I have moved there otherwise?
"Yeah, well it's true what they say..." She reached up to stroke my head. "Blonde hair and blue eyes really do go together."
Sorry I haven't written lately. I'll be getting back to it.
Labels: End of relationship theater