Oregon Tavern Age: Friday Afternoon

A Friday afternoon. A new joint. It’s old, with a roadhouse feel, situated near a defense contractor, and soon, one of the city’s new official homeless villages. What a strange mix of customers that should facilitate.

I walked in and the bartender was sitting at circular bar of tile and glass brick and drinking what appeared to be a cocktail. A friend sat next to her playing on her phone. Old football games played on the monitors.

A dark beer sounded good so I ordered a porter and then sat at a high table and began writing a story about a homeless veteran. My creative mind has attached itself to this homeless issue. I don’t really know where I am going with it yet. I may never know.

A young Latina woman entered, ordered a long island ice tea, and then hit the slot machines. She left in five minutes. I guess it was some kind of break from work.

Silence reigned.

A few minutes later, a street-looking man entered and ordered a screwdriver and then hit the slot machines. From time to time, I heard him talking to a machine.

Someone emerged from the back and began setting up speakers around the stage. Apparently there was a rock event scheduled for later that night, probably a cover band of some kind. It still somewhat astonishes me that live rock and roll used to be my primary source of entertainment when I lived in Portland a quarter century ago. Rock is utterly irrelevant to me now. I doubt I’ll ever see a live act again, unless, perhaps I chance upon one in OTA country gigging drunk in the afternoon. That has happened before, a couple of times. I’d like that. Maybe a Doobies Brothers outfit. Or better yet, an OTA Go Go’s group. Oh yes, I would like that a lot.