Oregon Tavern Age: Summer Afternoon

An OTA woman with a body reminiscent of a gazelle walked into the South Jetty wearing lime-green yoga pants. She was accompanied by three rotund OTA men and they seemed like they were on a date (of some kind) together. They were a strange foursome, definitely tourists, although what kind of tourism they practiced seemed unfathomable to me.

She ordered a hot toddy on a hot August afternoon. One of the men ordered a bloody mary and darts.

I’d always wanted to see someone impaled by a dart in OTA country. Would this be the day?

A bartender emerged from the stockroom and told another bartender that the whiskey was “running dangerously low.” There’s been a run on whiskey the past few days. One all-male foursome came in yesterday afternoon and drank 16 double Jack Daniels between them. That was almost two fifths.

I stopped writing a love letter and thought about what four men would do in and around Hammond after drinking 16 double Jack Daniels between them. The possibilities seemed limited or limitless.

The dart game was on. The man played by himself while his friends played video slots.

My friend showed up with a bag full of frozen salmon and halibut he’d caught in Alaska a couple of weeks ago. I looked into the bag and became effusive about the fish.

The OTA woman came over from her video slots game and wanted to look at the fish. She was jealous. She wanted some of it. She was quite knowledgeable about how to prepare salmon.

I heard a crashing sound near the old wishing well that had to be closed because drunken men kept pissing in it. I looked over and a very old man had fallen out of his chair and down to the carpet. He got up and laughed. Somehow he hadn’t spilled his drink.

The gazelle left and I watched her walk away.

My friend and I began to talk about the novel he was writing. I heard the sounds of darts hitting the board. I heard rock and roll riffs coming from the video slots. I heard snippets of OTA talk here and there.