Sunday, September 27, 2015

Only in Portland

Here's a funny story for you.  This past Friday, I was late getting home with the food box, it was about 8:30 or so when I came off the bridge.  As I parked the car down the road a bit from the apartment house, I could hear voices, raised in argumentative merriment, from the yard, which made me smile as I heard them.  I figured it would be some combination of Linda, Russ, Janell, and Lynn.

Dusk was deepening into dark when I opened the gate with my first load of pineapple juice, plain yogurt and apples.  The gazebo seemed much more lit than usual, quite suffused with gold as I glanced up at it, looking for one of the familiar faces.  Four people, three male and one female, all young, no one familiar.  Two of the guys were wearing ball caps and had their backs to me, so I couldn't tell for certain that I didn't know them, but I certainly did not know the young woman or the young man facing me.  I took one hand from the bag and waved, and the young woman stopped talking and stared, quite rudely, it seemed to me, and then turned away and kept talking.  She had golden hair, thick and wavy, swirling around her face and bouncing over her shoulders.  She was definitely the center of attention, and she was being quite loud.  Well.  They all were.

They were still at it when I went back out, and when I came back in.  I had decided by this time that they must be friends of the new young couple upstairs, Hannah and Whatever-His-Name-Is -- since I have at least seen most of the friends (the ones who visit, anyway) of the other people who live here.  Plus they looked about the right age to be Hannah and Whosit's friends.  And I couldn't tell if one if the two with their backs to me might not be Whats-His-Name, since, like I said.  Ball caps.  Backs to me.

However!  This afternoon, I heard from Linda that on Friday evening, four complete strangers, fairly drunk, apparently, since one of them puked in the yard, had brought their six-packs, and their food-from-Food-Front-containers into our yard, and had settled themselves in the gazebo.  They had found the extra string of lights which Linda had stored in the bench box, and had plugged them in, and strung them up, hence the extra gold of the scenery.  They had stayed there long enough to eat their food, drink their beers, and puke, and then had trooped off, leaving all of their detritus behind them, just before Linda went out to see what was what, at about nine-thirty.

So where else on earth would strangers come in to your yard to eat and drink and argue with one another, and then decorate the place while they were there?  Only in Portland.