When we purchased our airline tickets we figured we were in trouble. After all, they were hundreds of dollars less than the closest competition. But hundreds of dollars will buy “tons of tapas in Spain,” we said. So we gritted our teeth and went with the cheap seats. It’s only a ten-hour flight, we thought. We can do it.
This is the hamburger I ordered at the Slow Bar in Portland, Oregon today. I wanted this for my last American meal because it is big and juicy and has great beef and two onion rings, which is exactly as many as any mature human can or should eat at once. I know there are probably great burgers in Europe somewhere, but I don’t know how long it will be until I find one.
A friend of mine died a couple of weeks ago. His death brought his friends – very good friends – together. We cooked together. Drank some beer. Laughed at memories. Exchanged hugs and tears and backslaps and fistbumps. And at one o’clock last Friday night we buried him. Threw his ashes in the air and watched them sparkle in the moonlight.
We have moved across town to our friend’s flat while she is in Hawaii so that the estate-sale people could organize and tag and display the things we left behind. Robin Caton, our sale maven, suggested I visit the sale at the opening minute – 9 AM – when the most…er, colorful…people push their way in after standing in a chilly early morning queue.
We glance around to see what time it is, and the clocks are gone. We go out to sit on the balcony, and the chairs are gone. We look for clothes in the drawers, and the clothes are gone. We sit down to watch Jeopardy, and the television is Just. Not. There.