Sir P and I are close friends. We are now much closer friends. Spending a total of about ten hours walking almost non-stop together causes ether closeness, or a desire never to see the other again. This caused the former. In good tasking style, i affixed my trusty crab to my purse and dawned a silly hat. Then I dawned a lot more layers, because it's 8 in the morning in northern oregon in winter. Then, i began the walk to the max to take me to my first destination...
Also Sir P was a ninja. I was a pirate. And we didn't kill each other the whole way. I think we are making some serious diplomatic progress on a seemingly impossible conflict!
Washington park: This was the first planned "stop" on the itinerary. It was cold. I didn't have gloves, but Sir. P, being a gentleman lent me a pair of his. We soon abandoned the idea of "trail." We climbed the hill to the top of the park directly. Then we found two beautiful things: tiny jumping birds (who let us get pretty close) and the sunrise. It was nothing to most, but to us, it was stunning. The light saw us scale down the hill in all sorts of precarious ways. Sometimes, we hiked on trails. Sometimes, we followed random alleys to where they'd leave us (seeing as there are random housing developments at different points throughout the general area of the park.) If this lead us to a dead end, we'd find a way to sneak through their back yard (which was the forrest) and we'd look for a road to somewhere. Looking at a map later, we tried to identify the path we took, and i still have no idea where exactly we were. Along the way we saw the underside of a stilted house, a peak over the fence at the Japanese garden, lots of dead rose bushes (note: the official portland rose garden is here, but it's not the one i mention later on) a playground and a myriad of other things. One thing of note (though it seemed rather unremarkable at the time) happened in a place called "the Shakespeare garden" which we entered on a whim. We walked, holding hands, down the isle. After realizing this, our conversation turned to weddings and such for a time, but quickly meandered to a different tangent.
The walk to Breakfast: By this time, it was 9 something and we were famished. We agreed that we were both very cold and very ready for breakfast. We walked past many a wonder on our search, including the message carved into the sidewalk about portland's former mayor. We also discovered all of the different shapes and kinds of posts in portland. Some were round, others octagonal, some green some brown some black. However, this didn't distract us from our hunger. We couldn't find anywhere, till there appeared a lovely cafe called the black rooster. It was decorated full of roosters and had a very friendly man who gave us wonderful food to eat. Our conversation at this point altered to some serious things which needed to be dealt with. All friendships have unspoken of dynamics which determine the relationship between both parties. I won't get any more specific then that. Feeling full, but a little sad, we walked out to embrace the day (and walk more)
The Pearl district: This was an odd part of the walk. The pearl is so... sophisticated and picturesque. The wind was (as the wind tends to be) cold and gusty. We walked past countless pretty bistro's and apartments nether of us could ever afford.
Across the bridge and following the track: Across the bridge was VERY cold and blustery. When we got to the other side we tried to cross the street away from the water and the wind blew off my hat. There it sat in the middle of the road, car speeding toward it. Then they stopped and waved for me to pick it up (which was fortunate for both me and my hat.) Onwards we continued. We sort of pretended to follow the itinerary but then we had a stroke of inspiration! The first time Sir P and i had spent time with each other outside of the class we shared, we went to a park which we could find if we followed the track of the yellow max line. There is something about following the yellow. Maybe it's like the yellow brick road, but i was super stoked!
Our first park: It was much colder since the last time we went to this park. Regardless, I offered to Pixie to go on the swingset, like we had done before, and she quickly agreed. We spent some minutes swinging, talking about how we viewed ourselves, and other random things I can't recall now (for the record, I already wrote this, but the text was lost despite "saving for later." Cursed technoligiques!), but the conversation certainly helped us understand one another better. The clouds were parting as we continued northward, across the large green lawn and up a hill (because as we know, we should always be striving to be on top, regardless of point). We entered a quaint neighborhood that sat next to a cliff, which we paused at. Far below was least interestingly a rode, and most interestingly a train yard. It was especially beautiful. with the sun gazing downwards with its warmth, Pixie and I shared a moment, speaking silently. Suffice to say, the melancholic mood that enveloped us from earlier was scrubbed away, and we continued through the streets to the rose garden with new vigor.
Pixie: I have not much to say, because this would only be significant if you understand the nature and history of Sir P and I's friendship. IT was a place to reflect and feel the impact of our friendship on each-other. We got to know each-other better, We got to swing, and talk with more openness then i believe we ever had. From this I took away that i picked the right person to walk with. Sir P is an amazing person and friend, and i'm happy that he chose to spend the day with me. I should also mention that this park is beautiful: there is a view of the industrial, a green field and a playground, and a large tree in the center. It's diverse and interesting and beautiful (as is sir P)
The rose garden: We have intentionally left out any pictures of this park, and you'll see why. Pixie suggested on a whim that, for this park, we should go our separate ways, to enjoy it on our own terms. I know not of how she experienced it, but I reveal here my own musings:
The park reminded me of a graveyard and an art exhibit at the same time. the rose bushes, pruned and grey for winter, lined up into neat rows. With the cold winter comes the connotation of death, which was the most abundant here. Trees, which were also heavily pruned, reached their stubby, chalky white arms to the sky, as if in wanting. the hedges, which lined around the rosebushes, were similarly gray beneath a very thin layer of tough, rusty red leaves. The fountain in the center of the park was nearly totally frozen over, but the gushing water from the center kept it from being entirely lost. It created a small bulbous tower of sorts in the middle, where the water gushed forth. This part of the park was inset into the earth, meaning that you took stairs to get out of it. This also granted a great spectacle of a view from the top of the stairs, where I saw this part of the park for its sum, and had a short conversation with a curious squirrel. Past this lay a Gazebo which I left for Pixie, and a large swath of grass. I sat on the rounded steps and relaxed, pondering in my head all that I had seen.
Pixie joined me again, and I thanked her for offering the experience. We then went to the other side of the park, past the field: many tall trees surrounded and filled a small playground. Becoming kids again, Pixie and I crawled through a blue tube, rappelled across a chasm, and avoided lava, sharing our experience with a father and son. We then left, to go to what would become our last park.
Pixie: This park... This is what everything else was leading up to. I knew as soon as i looked at the symmetrical labyrinth that i was a walk i had to make alone. I stood on the ice of a flowing fountain and felt it crack beneath me. I sought the wisdom of someone ten years younger then me. I sang to myself, and felt and thought. I found peace in myself, which, if anyone has talked to me, is very difficult. In that peace, i learned that i'm much closer to being the kind of person i want to be then i normally think i am. What i wish to change will only do so over time. I do not need to please anyone or give myself to people to live a fulfilled life. Sir P and i moved though with almost symmetry. I went under the Gazebo type structure at the far end of the maze. I sat in the middle, and mused, and was at peace. Then, feeling almost surreal, we grabbed hands and walked to the playground
The suburbs: This section of the city felt very rural. The two story houses were all somewhat different from one another, and were older than the inner parts of the city. Specifically, glass paned windows reminded me of my old old house, where I basically lived on farmland. Along this route we discovered a long alleyway. The good kind of alleyway, where the dry, cracked cement was formed into more of a wide 'V' than flat ground, lined on both sides by a wooden picket fences. Pixie and I seem to gravitate to these alleyways, and we couldn't resist going down this one. It wasn't so notable, except for a strange tree branch with hard, close-knit and small leaves. The receptive tree was nowhere to be found. We eventually reached a large road, and found a street that went back up to the original street we were on. by this point our legs and feet were starting to complain, and it certainly wasn't getting any warmer. We then made a stop at a Safeway, to warm up.
Safeway: Inside the store, we decided to go up and down every aisle of the store, to lengthen our time there (except for the seafood aisle: Pixie doesn't agree with fish on many terms, being a pirate, and we wanted to avoid an argument).
Pixie: i was cold. Thought this would make a nice change of pace...
The final park: Before we even entered this park, we were beset by a dark elf. He requested help in the form of a gold piece, or two, and we replied that we had no copper or silver pieces to spare. He admonished us, reminding us that he asked for gold pieces, not copper. He then went to great lengths to persuade us to believe we were quite mentally unstable, for thinking the two to be at all similar, at that others he had met in his travels were similarly insane. Lost for words, he, like a kindergarten teacher, scathingly inquired if we even knew how to speak. Not wanting to incur more wrath from this mythical creature, we let him wander to his own devices, and made our own progress elsewhere, involving walking through a small forest of very tall, branch less (at least nor for 20 feet up or so) trees. Here, we were waylaid by a band of vicious wolves. Using my shurikens and Pixies flintlock pistol at range, and my Katana and Pixies Scimitar in melee, we made short work of them. Unfortunately, we were running out of time, and our feet were never less agreeable. So we made our way to the yellow line, to lead us homeward. We stopped briefly to chat with a man who was painting a building front despite the cold: apparently there is to be a tavern built there. But then, I needed to stop at the "inn" the "rest" my "waste receptacles," and stopped at a Mexican food restaurant which we ended up eating at.
At this point, Our feet hurt. We have two hours to go and decide that we are ready to take a break. We also decide that we are hungry. We happen upon a lovely Mexican food restaurant, take our seats, and sit. We sit in the kind of comfortable silence which only can happen between close friend, or people who are sharing a similar experience. Most of our conversations had been very deep and prying ones, spilling souls etc. After the silence, we talked of more trivial things for the rest of the night. Our minds were in-sync each other, and our legs throbbed. The food was good, as was the flan. We came out feeling better, but with many miles to go before we slept.
Follow the yellow max home:
We listened to this album, and Abby Road, and Ratatat and Anything else. It was dark now. We hadn't followed the plan, but i think we were both okay with how things turned out. We discovered, suffered and relished the day together. I've never had a better walk.