Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Heart of the Gorge

Early morning, a slight tilt before the sun. I awoke from a night terror--a loaded image driving me into waking fury. It was an image from last November:

I needed a breather. I had been trembling for the past 80 miles, and the deeper I went into the Columbia Gorge the worse my nerves became. I pulled the rental car over into one of those scenic point-of-interest spots. I got out of the car, into the rain and onto the edge of the bluff. I looked out over the misty gorge wishing something affirming would seed my thoughts. But I couldn't shake that past month in Portland. The month of undying darkness. I was treacherous. It was me against police, lawyers, spies, committees, girls, alcohol, solitude. The immediate result was defeat. I was 86'd from several bars on W. Burnside until I finally just stayed at home drinking while strangers came over to my apartment to take my furniture for a few bucks a piece until it was all gone. I rented a car, said goodbye to the few friends that knew the truth about the mistake I made, or perhaps the mistake that made me, and made for my dad's hideout near the Idaho/Canada border. And now in the Gorge, in the thick of it all, I could no longer move. I seized up. Emotional paralysis, maybe. The thought that the past was still wide open made moving forward futile. This siege of the senses would come to haunt me over the next year. Sometimes in grocery stores, or in the woods, or watching television. It was like stepping out of my body and leaving it privy to spiritual vultures. Yet the initial impact of this madness happened in the Gorge, in the rain, and on the edge. And the night terror haunts this location indefinitely, hovering all around that poor bastard teetering on a sharp cliff, weathering the elements in the heart of the Gorge.

1 comment:

  1. FOF, thank you for not driving off the cliffs. The bars on W Burnside may welcome us back another day. Maybe so.