Oregon Tavern Age: Love Letter in a Chinese Lounge

I’m taking a break from writing a love letter/valentine in long hand at back table in a desultory dive lounge of a desultory dive Chinese restaurant in a strip of a desultory dive strip mall surrounded by manufacturing plants and auto yards.

The farcical Winter Olympics plays silently on various screens. No one is playing the video slots, which is a miracle akin to the Virgin Birth.

There are no windows in the lounge. Five or so OTAs cluster around the bar and shoot the shit.

“Get It On” by T-Rex oozes from the speakers. Yeah, get it on with this crowd.

An OTA man pushes an OTA woman in a wheelchair into the joint. She wants an iced tea, but no go, so she orders a vodka and a whiskey.

I’m drinking a bottle of ale because the joint doesn’t offer draft beer. It was either that or Bud in a can. I went with the bottle despite it being a brand owned by a once proud Oregon micro brewery that now finances Republican candidates hell bent on murdering Oregon.

An OTA man enters the joint and declares that since it’s above 45 degrees he can drink. He orders a red wine.

I look around. To my left I see a red plywood wall. To my right I see a wall of jagged and mismatched paving stones painted black. Patrons or staff has decorated the grouted grooves between the pavers with toy farm animals. It is a wall unlike anything I have ever seen in OTA country. It is, of course, insane, and wondering why someone built such a wall and why someone would decorate it with toy farm animals could drive me insane, so I won’t wonder about it.

The wine-drinking man is telling a story about his dog loves his new rig. The dog told him so. Then he tells a story about how he almost got roughed up at an auto garage because he complained about terrible service.

“Brown Sugar” by the Stones comes on. They’re still touring, but reportedly not playing “Brown Sugar” anymore, because of its subject— hot slave women. So be it. I’ve heard it enough.

Time to get back to the letter/valentine. It’s 50-50 she even reads it. That’s still better odds than winning a buck on the Wolf Run game behind me, so I’ll keep writing. Perhaps love letters/valentines aren’t dead yet.