When the weather is cold I’m not so bold, but when the snow melts my ambition is felt! I’m tempted to push the limit, to see how far I can go, how much I can get away with. I track my wheelchair through the gauntlet of icy sidewalks downtown like Mr. Miyagi roaming the dojo, determined to make at least a ceremonial appearance at various social events. My apartment floor has to pay the price, though. My clumsy wheelchair tracks snow, mud and other unmentionables into my apartment, turning the floor and carpet into a vibrant collage of expressionist art! It’s times like this that I see the value of having few visitors to my fortress of solitude. And this makes me all the more social when I do leave my apartment.
On February 9thI went to Portland House of Music to partake in Viva’s Social Justice Social. The show was the official release party for her newest video, “Mueller, Baby,” a song sung to the tune of “Santa Baby” with lyrics about our current national embarrassment — “Mueller, baby, slip subpoenas under the tree, for me.”
The show opened with the impishly improvisational Myles Bullen weaving his web of music and poetry. Vivawas accompanied by her backing band, The Reinforcements, and a crew of rappers from Monday of the Minds, the biweekly hip hop showcase at Flask Lounge, laid down a thick coating of freestyle. Brit Martin and Hannah Harrington also joined Viva on vocals. Friends on hand in the well-dressed audience included Kent Gordon, Jody Winant and the ever-attendant Reginald Groff.
The show didn’t finish so late that the temptation of Flask Lounge could be easily dismissed, so that’s where I went. The room was packed and the friends were many, so despite my sober emotions things got platonically huggy. The dancefloor displayed a generous dose of dexterous girls. There was one sassy babe who’d worn pants to the bar, but when she started dancing she took them off to reveal an appealing avalanche of posterior pugnacity, minimally covered in uncomfortably small shorts. She made short work of translating the juicy looseness of the music into sexy movements. I may have been the beholder, but there was definitely beauty in her eyes.
Great mountains are climbed one step at a time and great bellies grow bite by bite. Because I’m such a merry little glutton, on Monday the 11thI went to Scattoloni Bakery (formerly Foley’s) in Monument Square to give patronage and get pastries. I got a few delectable items from the case and when I went to my usual table I discovered that co-owner Andrea Swanson had left me a big heart-shaped Valentine’s cookie decorated with a romantic message: “Fuck Trump.” Is this mixture of love and war how revolutions start?
On Valentine’s Day I breakfasted at Marcy’s Diner and ordered one of the specials, a red-velvet pancake. The cook, Juju, made the pancake in the shape of a heart. I much prefer comedy to romance, so when he put the plate in front of me I spun it around to turn the heart into a big, red, rash-covered ass. Marcy’s Diner, making breakfast sexy again!
A few days later, on the 16th, I went back to the House of Music to see the second annual Galentine’s Day show. Gina and The Red Eye Flight Crew were joined by guest vocalists Susanne Gerry, Cilla Bonnie, Suzie Assam and Ashley Ellis. Viva and Megan Jo Wilson also joined the party. The high-energy show of seductive covers stripped people of their hang-ups and things got damned dancey! The audience that night included the ever-gallant Ann Marie Gallant, Danielle Soucy, the husband-and-wife team of Alex and Jen Pozzy and the mother-and-daughter team of Sloan and Jenna Goodall. It was Sloan’s first time at the House of Music. She’s a Portlander, so I told her this was socially inexcusable and I expected to see her there more often in the future.
One of the best things about going out to see music is that it gives me a ready excuse to talk to strangers. Crippled misanthrope that I am, I really do love talking to folks I’ve never met and getting a taste of who they are. These small connections are the ground on which communities are built. If the stranger happens to be an attractive female, all the better!
We all pay the price for poorly proportioned vice, so temper your lusts and be careful who you trust. The game is afoot and the battle is ours to win! To the ramparts and to the library! #BERNIESANDERS2020!