My favorite Portland event of the year came and went all too fast. One minute I was at the ATM stuffing my pocket full of $20s and collecting my ticket and program to this year's Stumptown Comics Fest. And the next minute I was practically throwing my money at artists and leaving with an empty wallet and a bag full of treasures.
I had a little bit of post-stumptown depression as I was leaving the convention center. It was, after all, still in full swing and here I was leaving in the middle of the hustle and the bustle that was the fest. But I had done half a dozen laps around the room already, I had a measly $4 left in my wallet and I was moments away from plopping down next to a favorite artist or two just to hang out and soak up the atmosphere, becoming that girl. So yeah, it was time to go.
If you sat in a room with yourself for a few hours, would you like you? Would you accurately guess what was going through your mind, what those facial expressions meant, and be able to decipher the meanings behind your responses and body language? Do you know what you're putting out there, the minutia of little things that you don't give a second thought?
I am an introvert. I can sit quietly, without distraction, and observe those around me. I am easily lost to thought and can spend long, silent moments musing on any little thing that has caught my attention, even when in company. When I was a student the teachers called me a daydreamer. I suppose that is a good word for it.
I have lived in apartments my entire adult life. It's the natural coarse of things when you're unsettled and young. It's the typical city lifestyle and it has always made the most sense. But times, the bitch thing about them is that, they do change.
When Adam and I moved to Portland five years and seven months ago, we were on the path of change. New city, new people, new jobs, new lives. We started from scratch financially, socially, creatively, and personally. Mourning what we had left behind yet invigorated by the vast unknown that lay before us. We dove into our new lives headfirst and boldly, and we flourished. We've built a good life for ourselves here, we're happy and stimulated and we look forward to the exciting challenges of our creative futures. Our roots are firmly planted here in Portland and its rich soil has nurtured our continued growth. And so now we do as settled adults do, and we buy a fucking house.
My first exposure to Shakespeare was in 1992. I was in the 9th grade. There was a class field trip arranged to see the performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Stratford, Ontario - about a 3 hour bus ride from Flint, Michigan. Each participating student had to pay $75 if they wanted to go, so the final headcount was understandably low. Lucky for me, two of my best girlfriends were a part of the sanctioned crew. The memories I have of that trip are still quite vivid, as it was a trip of many firsts. It was the first time I was on a trip sans parents. It was the first time I was in another country. It was the first time I saw a professionally produced stage play. And it was the first time I saw anything Shakespeare. I felt like a grownup. Like a free woman exploring a cultural world beyond imagining. It was my first taste of that feeling of restlessness, of my gypsy spirit being shaken awake and wanting to go, go anywhere but here.
I fell in love with A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was magical and breathtaking, unlike anything I'd ever seen. And the language! Oh my, what were they saying? I didn't know, but it was beautiful. I also fell in love with Puck. A nimble, thin man deviously plotting and creating mischief for his own entertainment. Also, his codpiece was hypnotizing.
I sit in my chair, twiddling my thumbs and staring at a blank wall. My body relaxes and my eyes grow slightly wider as my mind gets caught in a current of emptiness, an anchorless drift along a featureless reservoir. There are whispers here, they buzz in the shadows of my mind but they are too quiet to be heard. No words catch, no thought lingers, everything just drifts past and I pass through it all like a ribbon of mist.
Sometimes I think to myself that I don't have enough time. It's such an inaccurate and infuriating thought. Not enough time. Like somehow it was stolen from me. Like somehow the universe hasn't afforded me the same amount of time that it has afforded everyone else. Like somehow my mismanagement of it is not my fault.