Sellwood Walk 1-2-21

Rain falls. I move across sidewalks with the year of their birth etched in concrete. I read 1918. Year of the last pandemic. There’s something important in that, but I’ll let other writers assay it.

I hear a man in the distance calling out loudly, unintelligible. Great, another American has lost it. I move toward the noise. I see three small dogs pulling a cart and a man in a poncho guiding the cart. He’s calling out, well more like singing, “t-a-m-a-l-e” every third or fourth stride. His wife is bringing up the rear holding an umbrella. I realize I’m hungry and I head toward the tamale man but they are moving to goddamn fast and I lose them. Next time.

Neon blinkers in the liquor store. Note to self: scotch.

I pass a tarp and I hear voices under the tarp.

Outdoor dining shelters are packed. I love Oregonians, well at least some of them. The ones breaking glass at the Capitol building, perhaps not so much, but at least they show up to protest in a hard rain, quoting scripture and mixing metaphors.

I’m on my way to an outdoor patio where I will sit at a picnic table in rain, write, drink a porter, and watch the University of Oregon Corporate Football Team play a meaningless football game against Iowa State. The PlayStation Bowl. Everyone makes money except the players.

And when I begin to write in rain on the patio, I just know CCR’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain” will come on and I’ll crack a smile because of the instant awareness that I am the one writer who can make sense of that coincidence because I know it is no coincidence at all.

(It did. Fogerty dripped from the speaker as so much rain.)