I was so engrossed writing my beard manifesto I neglected to mention that I visited Los Angeles again to hang out with the lovely Dingo and his equally lovely new bf. They’re so cute together it’s nauseating. But it’s clear it’s a good thang – one of those thangs that is gonna last for sure. I wish them well. We went to see The Breeders perform “Last Splash” in its entirety. It was a good show and I spotted Elijah Wood and Jinkx Monsoon (out of drag) at the concert. Wood is very tiny in person!
I always tend to have a nice time in L.A., probably due in large part to the lovely hosting. You wouldn’t think I’d take to a large sprawling city under the blazing sun in a desert, but I do. But then again it’s one thing to visit, another to live there. Conversely after repeat trips to San Francisco I’m pretty sure I don’t like San Francisco for many reasons. So I guess I like Los Angeles for some odd reason. Weird.
Anyway, vacations are always good for reflection and perspective, and I got what I needed on this trip. I’d pretty much made up my mind I’m going back to DC and some chats with the hosts helped me get my head around the idea. Then a slew of job app rejections came in when I got back and I’m all like “fuck this shit, this isn’t working.” I’ve been slamming my head against a very firm wall for a year and have done everything I can to get gainful employment in this town but it isn’t happening. And sometimes things just don’t work in certain situations and it’s good to know when to stop. The economy in Portland still stinks and isn’t expected to recover in another two years. And I ain’t waiting around for things to get better. Portland if you don’t want an able-bodied hard worker with an M.S., Midwest work ethics, and mad skillz to match you can suck it.
That and I think I’ve gained a greater appreciation for D.C. and for larger cities in general. I had used the word “provincial” to describe the local attitude around here, and the term was recently confirmed by an actual Portland native I was chatting with at a Labor Day party recently. I swear I did not use Jedi mind tricks to put the word on his tongue but he said it out loud and I didn’t. What I mean by “provincial” is that Portland is still a small town and not yet on its way to becoming a cosmopolitan city. Employers are still reluctant to consider an “outsider” when they can hire someone from Oregon. Whatever you did outside the state boundaries doesn’t matter to the locals, and the “Pacific Northwest Chill” is a real thing. It’s a mild form of xenophobia. I’m not sure if it’s due to intimidation of outside experience or just a small-town mindset, but it’s real. Keep that in mind if you’re considering moving here. Portland isn’t all fun, games and hipsters. It’s also a place where people get a glazed look on their face and shrug their shoulders with indifference when you mention you recently moved there and are looking for work. And I thought people in the Mid-Atlantic were cold.
This is not an actual otter I have bedded, but a very close approximation of what I've experienced in Portland.
So I learned that DC isn’t so bad, although I will always loathe the humid summers there. I also learned that I still have game in terms of romance. Sure there was the “fresh meat” factor when I arrived, but this is a small town and you would think that phase would end quickly. But it hasn’t, and I’ve been having a consistently otteriffic time out here. Portland has been good to me in that respect. Very
good. My sexual self is certainly in tune with the West coast, which concerns me because I have no game in DC.
Here’s how it went in DC:
Me: “Hi, you’re cute.”
Him: “EEEK! Why are you talking to me? You’re a stalker!”
Here’s how it goes in Portland:
Me: “Hi, you’re cute.”
Him: “Thank you. Wanna fuck?”
It is honestly that easy for me in Portland. Not so in DC, but there are tradeoffs for everything. Right now my primary need is to find employment and a steady paycheck, not to cavort with otterkind. I will deal with my approach to romance in DC at a later date when I get my shit together. The fact that my shit was not together here did not seem to matter to the otters in Portland, but it will in DC when I need to pay rent.
Anyway I should be getting back to DC around October 8. Just in time for the swamp-ass season to end so loading and unloading my stuff won’t be a sweaty affair. I’ve already extended job feelers to contacts, am in touch with a temp-to-hire agency, and even some former coworkers. And a good number of friends there are already excited that I’m coming back. That’s a good feeling.