Who would have dreamed of such a thing? A hipster selling donuts. Well, it is Portland, after all and all decency and civil oversight seems to have been washed away by the endless rain and endless sadness that hangs over this city like a ragged tarpaulin. My friend Mei talked about the donuts for days. Promised it would be one of the hi lights of the trip. She’s a sugar junkie. Vegan too, so I’ve noticed they like to fill up on sweets, things loaded with frosting. The lemon custard donut was a fine donut. Not a donut I’ll be remembering for the rest of my life. It was the clean scrubbed interior of the donut shop. The smell of cinnamon and oranges. White tile. And the hipster donut boy stood proud and sweet as maple glaze, boxing up the to go orders and styling the donut case. Now he was worthy of remembrance.
No one seemed to notice much of anything then. She was from another place. Not anywhere where you could drive or fly. Farther. Much farther. She couldn’t remember where or how to get back there even if she wanted to. It was so so long ago. There were fire flies that glowed cobalt blue and cats, big cats, before they put them in zoos, who slept peacefully in parks. Magic. The word helped; just to hear it echo in her mind. No magic here as she looked around to see if she could feel just one soul who remembered. She was the only one. But soon there would be two. The baby. Her baby would soon be ready to learn the silent language.
We walked to the grocery store this day, a Monday. April 1st. Fool’s day I guess but for us, just another Monday and another day with no groceries. We’ll get a walk in and grocery shop and so with our backpacks harnessed, we walked to the little shopping center about 2 miles up hill, west, towards the foothills. Oh, we hadn’t eaten and the little Mexican cafe is right there, a sunny corner little cafe with hand painted chairs and Mexican women making tortillas and horchata and tamales. A real clean place with peacock feathers in the bathroom. We were the only ones not speaking Spanish and it felt good, like being in a big city, where all the languages mixed together like a hearty oxtail soup. The two guys sitting by the window were waiting for Gorditas, drinking orange soda which Mexican restaurants always seem to have in the coolers. The women in the back kitchen were yelling things back and forth as they pat pat patted the masa into tortillas. Ice, for the horchata, brought in by a small woman that looked like she was a teenager. A hard life. It shown in her worn face. A glance and there I saw it, face plopped in hand. I wondered why he suddenly fell despondent. Was it the thought of spending endless hours of hard labor in the home of the Boulder uber wealthy…those chilly environments where artificial has taken on a new meaning and breaths are taken in short gulps? He perked up once the gordita was served.