Your Local

Lulled into that proprietary feeling standing at your local at SE 60th and Flavel. Soaking up some of the deep southeast night ambiance waiting to bus up for the three minute ride to SE Woodstock for a wife meet up at The Lutz. That frost-assed, bottoming cloud cover high in the sky over Sawyers Convenience. You are in a neighborhood of undeserved (and irrelevant) reputation and you are feeling as giant-hearted as the endless frost-ticked wind making your shelter-less (check the demographics-to-shelter ratios in this city) person get the chills The Wife and Lutz will eliminate. Red break lights flash and its romance, man. Flavel warming up with white-orange hallogen. Downright fiercely protective of your little corner of happiness and the geographic happenstance of it; the meaninglessness of past expectation: Scores of Bus rides with Grindingly Unhappy/Tired/Stressed/Combative fellow citizens. Boarding and wanting to impart some glow, inject some momentive cheer; naive and knowing you’re being naive. Dude across the aisle looking as likely and receptive as anyone else, so he gets a

“Hey Man what you got going on tonight?”

Dude takes deep . . . deep . . . deep breath, exhales longly, holds my eyes:

“Going to a funeral, Man. A wake I mean. Something like that . . A service.”

“Ah man, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. We all have our turn coming up.”

“. . .”

“So where you going?”

“Bar to meet the wife.”

“Can’t get much better than that.”

“Guess not.”

Stand to deboard and he puts a hand out for shaking with the hangdoggest look and we shake good and hard.

SE Woodstock looked like a goddamn fairy tale city walking up along. Seeing the wife waiting at our corner of the bar and squeezing the hell out of her was like getting married again. Wondered if the dude on the bus had to transfer.

© Scott Tienken

About Scott Tienken

Scott Tienken is co-editor of The Cartophile Imprint, a publishing/music/and public arts website. His current novel, Mass Transportation, the second installment of his Portland Trilogy, takes place on the northbound 75 busline to St. Johns. He is founding member of the Pine Needles music collective. He is a certified city and public art project geek, works for the county library, and is looking for a chess partner. (Scott Tienken owns the copyright on all his contributions, please contact him for permission to republish).
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2 Responses to Your Local

  1. oldsweng says:

    Man, I hate to be the spelling police, but Scott probably wants to change “break lights” to “brake lights”. Feel free to delete this comment after it is fixed.

  2. I absolutely love this. Evocative and full of impact. Well done!

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