This has been a charmed weekend in Portland. My visit coincided with the city’s first spring-like weekend, weather that brought on bursting cherry blossoms and new-green leaves and people going barefoot (maybe they do this in any kind of weather; I think they do, in fact ) and singing tunes on the street corners, accompanied by ukeleles. I am sitting outside on a second-floor balcony, waiting for by bubble tea. Iced, ginger, green. What the bubbles are, I do not know.
I have been thinking about a concept I’ll “displacement,” thanks to Delia Ephron who made me realize other people feel this too. Essentially, it’s the feeling that whatever you’re doing and wherever you’re doing it, you wish you were doing something else, somewhere else. More complicated than that is that you don’t wish at all — rather, you wonder if you should be otherwise and elsewhere occupied. Frustrating, isn’t it, when not even what you want is clear to you? For instance, working inside on a Saturday you think you’d be better off outside playing, but if you were doing that you’d feel guilty about not working. Out at night, you want to be home in your jammies; in at night, you want to be at a swanky party like everyone else. Exercising, you’d like to be doing anything but. Not exercising and that’s exactly what you should be doing.
If you don’t know what I’m talking, read no further. I don’t want to infect you with this kind of thinking.
Dog in the hot weeds is from a poem that Merrie gave in a card on my birthday the year before she died. I looked for it last weekend (when I found the letter from Gladys). I can’t recall the line but it said something like “the dog in the hot weeds doesn’t think he should…” An extremely weak support for why the “dog” poem is just right for this feeling. But Merrie gave it to me and we talked about it and I want to stick with this little piece of what’s left of it (and her).
Suffice to say, in Portland, in the springtime, with the sun shining through pink-blossomed trees, drinking iced ginger tea and writing and thinking about Merrie … there’s no other thing I’d like to be doing right now and no other place I’d like to be doing it.