Today is the seventeenth day. I didn’t mean to begin counting but after the tenth day, I couldn’t help but notice. It’s been seventeen days since I saw any of my neighbors. In theory, there should be five humans, one for each of the five doors besides ours in this building on the second floor, but of course, it could be more. It might not seem all the strange to you, that I haven’t seen a single soul in the hallway outside of our apartment for seventeen days, but as an unemployed person who spends most of her days going in and out, it’s becoming more and more bizarre. When we first moved in, I saw the man across the hall at least once a day as he was taking his small dog for a walk. He always spoke, or least nodded, and he seemed like a good omen.
I don’t know how many more mornings I’ll wake up surprised to be where I am: 28 years old, unmarried, jobless, in Portland, Oregon. Young, able, stupid in love, wise and unwise, and in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Who knew there were skies so blue outside of North Carolina?
I didn’t know that winter could loom like a cartoon villain drawn in black lines — a hulking presence behind me while I sweat in the summer heat. Conflicting reports don’t help my fears. “It’s not so bad.” vs. “Did you notice all the soup shops? Winters wet like ours require comfort.” Continue reading
1. I wasn’t paying attention when TJ and his brother, Adam, carried his two couches to the U-Haul.
2. Sitting in the garage with a beer, I was counting the bug bites on my legs, and talking to Adam’s girlfriend, Misty.
3. When we arrived at our new apartment & had picked up our keys, we began the never-ending task of unloading our stuff. One U-haul, one car and one truck full of stuff.
4. It was another hot day in Portland. Don’t be fooled.
After sitting at my grandparent’s house for just a day, I have already grown restless. After having done SOMETHING every day for the past month, to be sitting on my ass for even one day does not seem right. Yesterday, I let the restlessness get to me while looking on job search websites and applying to the ones that I found to suit me. Today, though, I took some time to think, and here is what hit me.
On the second morning of a two-day trek to our new hometown of Portland, Oregon, we were up early and waiting to eat breakfast at place called Ardella’s — a quaint little restaurant in the picturesque town of Willits, California. Two young men working at the gas station had enthusiastically recommended the place. I could tell it was small-town northern California when the regulars showed up exactly 7 am, as a waitress was unlocking the doors and flipping the Closed sign to Open. We left with full bellies and lots of local gossip. TJ took the lead as we took scenic route 99 — a mountainous road that made my coffee slosh in my stomach. The only thing between me and the Kalmath River, sometimes fifty feet below, was my own skill as a driver. When we finally reached I-5, the major highway that would take us the rest of the way to Portland, my shoulders were so tight they were at my ears. We got in much later than we expected, hungry and sick of the road. It was a relief to have no trouble finding the house with the room we’d leased for a few days until we found an apartment. I’d used AirBnb, my first time, to save money for a hotel, and I wanted to actually feel what it was like to live in one of the many neighborhoods in Southeast Portland. The whole AirBnb experience could be its own post and probably will be, but not today. Our hostess, a woman named Karen, asked us each morning, how we were fairing — in general and on our apartment search. On the first morning, we were able to tell her that we’d found a place and by the second morning, we’d signed a lease. She said we were people who “Get Shit Done” —