I want up and downvote buttons on this whole damn world.
Yesterday i was meandering through Northwest Portland, just walking. A man and woman emerged from a building - he locked the door behind them and they fell in behind me on the relatively empty sidewalk.
"Are you familiar with this area?" he asked.
(No! Tell me stuff!)
"A little, just a few places," it seemed she answered: she was indistinct.
He pointed out a couple of "great" shops - full of wicker gewgaws, enamel dingbat
s, and ceramic whatsits.. things with rotund smiling faces where no faces belonged, and mummified former greenery - all fit for spending one's abundance of excess money
. I developed a rather scornful attitude toward his taste. The he pointed out a corner store
, the only store on the block with people going in and out, the kind of store with windows completely obscured by cigarette and lotto ads and specials on Wonder Bread
and soap, with two cracked plastic lawn chairs on the sidewalk by the door.
"I consider that to be the last --
(spark of life?)
-- eyesore on this block. I'm going to buy that building and rip it out. This is my new building, just bought it this week. Come on in."
I had literally covered my ears, but heard the jingle of his keys anyway.
Maybe this man is someone's hero, someone's example. (A self-made man? It's possible.) But at that moment, he made my stomach churn. I wanted to break down the door and hurt him in unpleasant ways.
I couldn't tell you why. If he's the "gentry" in gentrification, then - probably - so am i, or will be when i have a job. I suppose i'm just playing along.
I've travelled this whole world and seen lots of funny men
some will rob you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen
but everywhere I've rambled and everywhere I've roamed,
I've never seen an outlaw drive a family from their home."1