Day 08: Portland, OR

morning on the Rogue river came gently.
rivers are magical beings
and have deep philosophical thought
given over to their properties.

I want to spend more time with rivers.
After the wedding,
when I head inland, away from the ocean,
I'll probably chart courses that follow rivers.

what little time i shared with the river,
gave me the feeling that it was
sublimely unconcerned with everything
except with being a river.

while it might be only a river,
it was fully a river.

it seemed to be running fast,
but not overly so.
maybe it sensed that the sea was close by,
and picked up its pace to get there sooner.

the breakfast was brought by Molly,
a lovely blonde maybe-twenty cherub.
a croissant, jam, fruit, yogurt.
fit for a king.

no starbucks nearby,
no more in-room coffee,
and i'm up before the office opens to get more,
so i re-use the day old grounds,
and it's surprisingly good...

goodbye Molly,
goodbye river, i'm outta here.

the Oregon coast is magnificent.
the huge off-shore boulders are the best.
they give such character to the coast,
rugged, eternal.
and they play with the light
especially from the moving car.

after about 50 miles of north,
i had to head inland to pick up I-5.
needed to make quicker time.
following convoys of motorhomes is
an exercise in frustration,
with few moments of ecstacy when
i can flog the monster under the hood
and pass a string of land-yachts
while making Detroit v-8 sounds
at triple digit speeds,
probably scaring the bejeezus out of
the nice old couple from Kansas.

my back was killing me yesterday,
but after extensive yoga and Advil,
and relaxation, and more stretching,
the pain subsided and i started feeling normal.

i was prepared for the worst this morning,
but no problems, and even after almost
5 hours at the wheel,
my back is feeling surprisingly ok.

the only 4-star hotel with a room
is in downtown Portland,
(Fifth Avenue Suites)
a dirty old city center
filled with drifters and grifters,
many of whom i passed on my way to starbucks
for my late afternoon hit.

The Rialto is the pool hall around the corner,
but tobacco smoking in public places
has not been outlawed here yet,
so this billiard parlor is a pit of noxious fumes.

nice tables, and i was looking forward to
playing some pool there
(all Gold Crown tables)
but I'll never play in smoke, period.

called ahead to the Canada hotel concierge
to arrange for a full detail on the car
as soon as i check in.
after 1000 miles of road dirt and bugs,
the red is looking neglected.

before dinner i hit the exercise room,
and ripped off a few sets of free weights,
the first since leaving the Fun House.

you can get some seriously good salmon in this area.
one of the great joys of being a hermit on the road
is room service, where you can eat the best food
with complete disregard for manners.
i think we were meant to make noises when we eat,
especially if it is good food.
i like to get enthusiastic about good food.
(it is said that a person eats like they make love)

as much as possible i order OFF the menu,
or at the very least, with subsitutions galore.
the salmon from this entree,
but with the au Grating potatoes from this other entree,
and the spinach from a third...
it's always about MY way, isn't it?

and when it comes to pool,
it is definitely about my way.
the whole idea is to create the situation
so that the outcome is pre-ordained,
that the result is "I win".
it is assumed, expected, a given.
the opponent is simply there as a spectator.
the opponent is irrelevant.

i must think only of the game,
my game, my shots, my stroke, my strategy.

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