Last night I got back from seeing Amber in Portland, Oregon. Well no, it was actually Gresham, a suburb of Portland.
The exciting part about the city is that it has one hell of a great mass transit system. Pretty much anywhere we needed to go was served by "The Max", which is their light rail system. The beginning/end of the line was about 100 feet from her front door so we could hop on at any time and go anywhere we wanted to go.
The first thing we did was run to WinCo, which is a small chain you buy it/you bag it discount food store. Although Amber's place did have a cafeteria, the food sucked ass so we stocked up on enough food to last my entire time there and enough left over for a few days after. For the rest of my time, we rode the train a lot, going to all of her favorite places and introducing me to her friends and acquaintences.
The prettiest place was a secluded woods a few miles from her home. Even though it was right in the middle of the city, it was so thick with trees that within a hundred feet of entering it, you couldn't even hear the loud train screeches anymore. The trail was mostly paved and vast sections of it were elevated wood walkways to protect the flora and fauna below. And speaking of the fauna, at one point when we were walking along Amber yelled suddenly for me to stop... to not even take one more step... so looking down with one foot still in the air, right where my foot would have landed were two tiny field mice that were so engaged in romance that they didn't even notice us for several minutes. Yes, I did get a picture but in interest of protecting their privacy and of course not wanting to be the purveyor of mouse porn, I shall refrain from posting it here.
Looking back on the last 5 days, it now seems a bit surreal. Psychologically, I experienced things that I have never experienced before in my entire adult life. Though I plan to talk to her about this, I'm also going to say it here because I believe she, like me, could use a good dose of public validation every once in a while. Amber and I have/had a lot in common in this repect.
Throughout my entire adult life, virtually every relationship, be it friendships or more intimate, there has been a certain level of angst. No matter how good things were going, either through impatience or misunderstanding, the other person was going to do or say something to mess up an otherwise good time. It didn't ruin the fun parts, it just added a big black blemish right in the middle of it and back then I allowed it to cut me to the core. I never fought back or stood my ground because I was convinced that if I said a word I would lose that person. At the end of the day I was always convinced that I would probably never see the person again. So, like a puppy trying to please its master, I constantly did nice things for them, which in reality was just like buying friends and/or lovers so they would not leave. Every relationship was an accident waiting to happen. In case anyone is wondering, I blame only myself for this because I was the one without the courage to walk away from the things that did not meet my needs.
Amber is just now learning to adopt a philospophy I adopted not too long ago. Brandi Carlile sums it up quite well in "My Song" with the lines "I'm too proud to beg for your attention and your friendship and your time, so you can come and get it from now on" and to that, any time I bite my tongue now, it's only out of charity, not out fear of losing any one person. I have removed the bullshit from my life by cutting every single unnecessary person out. I don't put up with it anymore and people seem to be taking notice of it. It's working quite well for me and I am happier than I have ever been. Amber has grown a very large set of testicals now and also learning to be happy by dangling them around the idiots who do not meet her minimum level requirments.
So, as you have probably surmised by this point, my visit was 100% angst free. It was the most relaxing time I have ever had with any person in probably my entire life. I enjoy the fact that we are completely comfortable in each others presense and to show that she was willing to happily introduce me to virtually every single person she knows. Other than Patrick, no other person in my life has ever done this, ever. That is friendship. I need to come back here.
Keeping with tradition, it rained as I left.