Oregon Tavern Age: Evergreen

Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen” played on the jukebox in a degenerate OTA joint in Portland.

I sat at a table and drank a well gin and tonic that had no gin.

“Evergreen?” Barbra Streisand? It didn’t feel like the right soundtrack to accompany the obese and tattooed OTA woman sitting at the bar drinking a bloody mary, shot of whiskey and beer chaser. On my last visit she delivered a bitch soliloquy about how she couldn’t find any good cock to suck or pussy to lick. This time she was bitching about the high price of fast food.

The Rose Festival Parade aired soundless on television. It has definitely evolved to reflect the demographic changes in Oregon. Good. Besides, anyone participating in the parade or watching from sidelines at least got off their asses to moved out into the world.

As I watched the parade, it occurred to me that I disn’t have a Rose Festival story, or a Timberline Lodge one for that matter.

An OTA regular I’ve dubbed Fat Rick waddled past to me to his table. He was wearing his traditional lime green mumu.

An OTA man at the bar ordered another drink and said he didn’t want to get too fucked up because he had some concrete to pour later.

It was noon on a Saturday.

The joint felt entombed. I needed fresh reinforcements of degenerate if anything interesting of storytelling value was going to happen. Fat Rick and the sex starved bisexual bison weren’t cutting it.

I wondered when I’d stop writing about OTA country. I’d declared it dead years ago thanks to Herr Dump.

Still, pockets of resistance remained and I’ll relish them while I can.

The door squeaked opened behind me. A man sporting a weird crew cut, tattoos and wearing a tank top, shorts and sandals entered. He was and was not OTA.

He went up to the bar. Everyone hailed him. They joked about his antics. He’d blacked out at the joint last night, quite possibly shit himself, and here was 12 hours later ordering a double vodka soda.

Hello reinforcements! Once more into the OTA breach!

I finished my gin and tonic and walked out to the potholed parking lot half-filled with beaters that had either no license plates or expired tags.

The smell of pot nearly knocked me over. A cloud of smoke drifted through. I looked around to see where it was coming from. I saw three young men sitting on the covered porch of a dilapidated house next door to the joint. They were ripping bong hits and inhaling joints.

I reached my car. Elmer had his head out a rear window and sniffed eagerly at the air. His eyes looked a little strange. He was stoned! My husky was high!

I laughed, petted his head, got in the car, and drove away.