It’s been one of those nights. You know the ones. It’s after midterms and that huge test, and literally, all you need to do is take a night to yourself. Intoxication seems like a really nice answer. Like, seriously, get out there with some friends to your favorite bar—take that shot—or four. Hit that joint. But crap, now you have to get home.
Phones are dead. No Uber. No cab (Ha right, getting a cab in Portland?).
Don’t you worry, I got you covered.
Navigating through Portland sober is hard enough. You can get turned upside down so easily. I do, 24/7. The only thing that lets me know where I am is if I somehow find some tracks.
So the first step is to look on the street and see if you can find the streetcar tracks. Once you find those, it will help you get around Portland to your destination, even if it’s PSU. It’s a lot easier said than done. Because at this point, you probably have no idea where you are. It’s dark, and your friend is an idiot, and it’s cold and most likely raining. You wonder if you will ever feel the soft comfort of your bed again. You begin to wonder if this is where you have always wanted your life. In the cold, dark streets of Portland, making sure your friend doesn’t puke on themselves.
That college degree is worth it though.
So find the tracks. But you’ll probably be distracted by one person. You can’t tell if they live on the streets or just have an odd sense of fashion. They are sporting a large backpack, so you assume the former. You tell them you don’t have any change and they look at you, offended. You say, “Hey man, I’m kind of fucked here, can you please help me out? Where’s the streetcar stop?”
The person, much to your surprise, just walks away and doesn’t bug you anymore.
You will later find out that person was, in fact, your professor.
You think, maybe if you can find a bridge, you would be able to navigate where a streetcar stop may be in comparison to the distance from the bridge. You then realize that sentence makes no sense, and yet, you continue to look for a bridge. However, you forget it is dark and can’t see. Then you remember that bridges are large and have lights so people can see them in the dark.
You wish you had a car. Then realize you shouldn’t smoke and step on the gas. At least, that’s what they taught you in middle school.
So here you are, still, kind of on the sidewalk and kind of not, kind of questioning your life, kind of craving Voodoo.
You continue to walk until you make it to what you believe to be Pioneer Square. You see the red, glistening sign of Target and wonder if they sell Voodoo. Your friend is besides you, conversing with the man who frequents the sidewalk outside of Target, selling his colorful rocks. You enter the automatic doors and look beside you, now seeing your friend has an armful of rocks.
You begin to question your life once again.
Once determining you don’t really want Starbucks, you exit Target. Then you hear it. You hear the rumbling of the streetcar and its delightful honk as the conductor lays down the law on a stupid tourist who doesn’t understand city life. You grab your friend and pull them with you as they scream in protest, their rock family being left behind. The door to the streetcar opens and you wiggle into a seat, leaning your head on the window.
It only takes you 20 minutes to realize you actually live in Beaverton.