One cigar, 600 pistachios (in probably under 60 seconds), a cumulative four glasses of French wine, some coffee-flavored Haagen Daz, and here I am, sitting on my roof eating Cup Noodles, which I observed only yesterday that I went my entire college career without eating and yet have returned to only when, ironically, I went on salary for the first time in my young life. Well, not that that matters anymore anyway. Today I was essentially made redundant; the company isn’t getting enough work, which is apparently reflected in my hours the past two weeks. Shame they didn’t think twice about taking me onboard as a full-time staff member and making me fly (literally) across the country to take this position when they saw signs of this ill fortune a month ago, when I first moved here. But I guess that doesn’t matter much now either.
What a terrifying yet stereotypical sight for joggers on the path along the Western Promenade just now: an Asian girl sitting on a roof, eating Cup Noodles, with a wine glass in between her crossed legs. Almost a pretentious sort of poverty, really. I don’t care. I like the elevation. Our house gazes out at a stunning vista of water, highway, railroad, and beyond that, the Portland Jetport. Despite the obnoxiously sporadic choo-choo’s of the trains rolling through and the planes landing overhead, it’s only a mild case of noise pollution. I think you’d hear more disturbances on any suburban street in California.
So. I’m up here. I think the view gives me perspective. I’m just watching the most peculiar clouds in the distance slowly blanket the sun for the evening’s arrival. I’m very comforted by the fact that the sun is always there, every morning, now that spring is sliding into summer. Not to be fatalistic but it’s probably the only consistent thing I can count on in my immediate universe right now.
Portland’s been a hell of a ride, for all its charms. It actually reminds me of a great fiction novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven: magnanimous for a microcosm. My experience has been a trying one, and I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t partly due to the uncommon circumstances of my job (work bleeding into social life seeping into private life, etc.). To be honest, I’ve been bitching about my job, and how it dictates how I experience Portland, for a long time, so it should really come as no surprise that karma came calling to say, “Be careful what you wish for!”
Wasn’t it just last night, while I was watching Midnight in Paris, that I thought to myself, “Why can’t that be me? Why can’t I just fuck my day job and write a novel?” Well, here’s my chance! I maintain, with some hesitation but obstinate resoluteness nonetheless, that I can’t write my masterpiece here; though, Portland in just five short weeks has shaped up to be a significant chapter in my life. What was it that F. Scott Fitzgerald is quoted to have said? “I want to live where things happen on a big scale.” I used to live in a place like that, and it exhausted me. But still, not a day goes by that I don’t regret “cutting my losses” and abandoning my dream.
Why NOT just make a break for it? Why not just run and never think twice about it, never look back? Oh yea, because I have no money and my family would honor-kill me if I ever left the country again. Shoot.
I think my greatest fear isn’t failure but repeating the past. I’m honestly scared shitless of having to go back to California and start from scratch all over again—that was comparable to being skinned alive the first time around and I have zero intention of ever feeling that way again. Trying to do what I wanted to do didn’t work out the first time. Trying to do what was expected of me hasn’t worked out this time. Now, where does this golden opportunity of an emergency exit lead? Into oncoming traffic, or irresistible and infinite freedom?
Even though I will most certainly dishonor everyone I hold dear Mulan-style, I’ve already been drafting ideas of where to go next long before today happened. What’s so wrong with wanting to write about what I want to write about for the rest of my life?
Second Cup Noodles. It’s fine, I’ll go for a light jog tomorrow.