I left Tokyo and boarded a plane. The reluctance was not just my massive cowardice regarding flying, but an unjustified fear that nothing good could come of going back. But at this point I was committed to going back whatever came, and so I got on the plane and headed back to the US.
But not to Washington DC. Not yet at least. Partially not to have to suffer the thirteen hour flight, and partially to just not be back in DC, I got off at Seattle and took the Bolt Bus to meet some friends who live in Portland.
I have to give full credit to the friends that hosted me, as they showed me a really great time in Portland. I don’t know if I had mentioned it to them before, but they figured out real fast that the way to my heart is right through my wide open mouth. They started me off with fried chicken and brisket (not on the same plate, I cheated and picked off of theirs as well) and kept me going with three good meals per day for the duration of my stay.
There was at some point also an ice cream parlor that, being in the festive halloween spirit, was serving grass flavored ice-cream with chocolate covered crickets and caramelized mealworms.
You’re goddamn right I ate it.
They went well out of their way to show me a great time, and convince me to move back if I could. I was quickly falling in love not only with the place, but with the people there. And not just my friends, but pretty much every female I encountered. Maybe it was that I was just back from a country where personal hygiene was a recent import and the women had the sex appeal of the furniture they sat on, but it seemed that every woman I saw in Portland was not only attractive, but friendly as well.
I am seriously thinking of taking my friends up on their idea that I should move to Portland.
I was pretty sad to have to leave them. But I had a train to DC to catch, and a three day train right with which to come to terms with the fact that I really was going to end up back in DC. The train ride felt too short for the task, and I was feeling dread when I finally arrived in DC.
I stepped off of the train and noticed immediately one of those things that I always forget about the DC area; it is just ugly. Not the city in itself, but the people as well. I hadn’t really noticed when I was in Portland, but now that I was back in DC the comparison was obvious. People in DC are just plain uglier than many of their fellow citizens elsewhere. Exasperated, I sighed. Welcome back to DC.