The Drunkest I’ve Ever Been: Lost in Portland


So, this one time when two of my favorite folks were in town…I got LOST.

There’s getting lost, being lost, and getting LOST. Getting lost can happen to most anyone, at any time. Being lost and getting LOST, I feel, are reserved for the habitually enthusiastic. Like the time I was shooting for 12th and Ladd and wound up at 28th and Stark with a skid mark all the way down my right arm (from connecting with a van while trying to slow my bike down enough to read a god forsaken street sign). I’d say this counts as being lost. Once I figured out what street I was on I knew where I was. Entirely different from getting LOST.

For the LOST, street signs and obvious landmarks are utterly useless. You are literally adrift in a sea of asphalt and concrete surrounded by everything that looks exactly the same. Even if you could see a bright yellow billboard with a red crane on it it wouldn’t help you orient yourself. All signs may as well be in Sanskrit.

Exhibit A:

“Sean! Where is HENDERSON?!”
“What? Wh-why? Where are you going?”
“Where’s Henderson, Sean, I’m on … 65th and Henderson … where is Henderson?”

This is the conversation I had whilst flat on my back on the lawn of a house at that absurd intersection, and that my vodka-whiskey-Vicodin befuddled brain scrambles up on that Homeric trek that takes place between lying in bed and standing in front of the bathroom mirror this morning.

I look like something between Medusa and an Anime hooker-squirrel. And apparently will all day. Damn you water resistant eyeliner.

In case you’re unfamiliar with SE Portland, Oregon geography, or, as I clearly hadn’t, have just never quite stumbled across Henderson, it’s 11 blocks south of Woodstock. ELEVEN. So 16 blocks south of 50th and Holgate, where I was headed after I walked my bike up from Reed College campus, after I tried a half dozen times to successfully unlock my bike from the railing outside of Commons, after I had, it seems, left the pool hall. Add the East/West component to that ride and I was something like 2 miles off base.

I can’t for the life of me tell you where that evening started, or what time it actually ended, but I do know I fell off of my bike twice trying to cross the Blue Bridge, forcibly made out with at least one of my male friends, chased opiates with sour mash, gave a lap dance, blacked out somewhere between GCC and the art building, and again somewhere between 38th & Woodstock and, apparently, 65th & Henderson.

I did, however, also make it to work on time.

SE Portland at night image courtesy of Lily Monster, flickr.