Everything weird that you’ve heard about Portland is true. It’s weirder than weird. Each time I visit I fall more and more in love with the place. And seriously, I have no idea what has happened to me. I mean, it’s been years since I was completely introverted and timid, but I am still shocked at some of the things that I’ve been doing.
I put up a sign that read “Tips are greatly appreciated!” and suddenly I am one of them. There are the nods exchanged with other street performers, the not-at-all-deep conversations shared with the intoxicated, and the tourists who are excited to stop and give a dollar to a real Portlandian busker.
“We love you!” declared the group of hippies in unison. I have been receiving a lot of good feedback. Sometimes it is a bit creepy and strange, but thankfully it is balanced out by the normal and sane. My favorite feedback comes from little ones. All day long, I have children stopping dead in their tracks to listen to me. No matter how young they are, it is as if they are hanging onto each note and word. This fills my heart with joy like nothing else.
Shirtless Cowboy had a shirt on and I almost didn’t recognize him. However, I had plenty of time to figure out who he was, as he stood across the street staring at me for about a half hour—creepy, right? I actually saw him twice this week. The second time I saw him, he also appeared to be fully clothed and sober, as he sped by me in his truck and flipped me off. Yes, that happened. (If you are unfamiliar with Shirtless Cowboy, please refer to my last post, Walking Blind.)
And then I decided that it is a very good thing that I carry hand sanitizer with me. Somehow a punk rocker, wearing a tail, managed to kiss my hand. It was very awkward and unexpected—as I’m sure you might assume. It was particularly unexpected because he also started to try to accompany me. I’m still not sure what he sang exactly, other than the F-word multiple times. When he finished, I smiled and said, “That was interesting. How are you doing?” He was weird. A weird product of Love, with a potential and a purpose.
Some days are messier than others. Yesterday, I nearly set my guitar case down in a puddle of vomit. And then I nearly sat down on what was probably once a slice of pizza. AND THEN I nearly stepped on a perfectly flat, yet completely intact, mouse. I apologize for the visuals—no I don’t, I want you to get a good visual of what a typical day in my life is often like.
I finally feel like I know my way around downtown. Well, to a certain degree. I am learning the street names and I have not misplaced my car once since my last post—victory! I have also discovered cheaper parking locations, though they require a lot of walking to get to and fro. Yesterday was another exploration day. It was my second Portland daytrip made specifically to learn the layout and find more potential busking spots. To finish off the evening, I pulled out my guitar and played near Pioneer Square for around an hour. You see, I made a deal with myself. I could have Chipotle for dinner, if I busked to pay for my meal.
I am officially exhausted. Today is my day of rest and I’ll be spending it packing up the last few things at my apartment. I have a full week ahead of me. A couple gigs and multiple busking outings. I leave for California early on the 27th. There is quite a bit to do before I leave, but I know it will all fall into place.
A vacation will be nice. While I am truly loving it here in Oregon, it will be beneficial for me to have a break and spend some time with family and friends. I also plan on finishing up the writing portion of my upcoming full length album. I promise to continue to keep you updated on my travels. There will no doubt be plenty of blogging inspiration along the way.