I conspired with the French…

May 11, 2008 at 11:20 am (On the road again...)

We conquered Beaverton, Wilsonville and Sellwood too!

In the process I was trampled by rats, witnessed a spider fight, met Pantera and Slayer, and held the intestines of a young woman in my hand.

Details? Read on…

It’s been a bass-ackward kind of weekend. The stuff I wanted to do Saturday happened on Friday. The stuff I wanted to do Friday got done, albeit not as thoroughly as I’d wished. In the end, it all worked out.

My bank account got overstimulated, thanks to the US of A. I had too much money, what to do? I got on the horn and called Mizelle. She’s a good influence when it comes to spending money. At one point she would only wear clothes from the Goodwill bins. ($1.29 a pound!) She didn’t answer, so I went to plan B. I fished out the last of my happy pills, washed them down with coffee, and prepared to wander the streets of downtown. If stumbling around in a narcotized haze is good enough for the bums, maybe I should see what it’s all about.

The cell phone rang as I stepped into the Upscale Mall. “This is the third straight time you’ve called me just as I’ve entered this place. Where are you?”

“Sitting in front of your work. I got a message you were heading that way.”

“I’ve got John Waters VHS movies to drop off. Dr T wanted to see Pink Flamingos again, so I’ve been inundating him with oldies. Female Trouble, Desperate Living, and so on.” As we talked, it occurred to me that she was not sitting in front of the store I was heading toward. We planned a street-side rendezvous in ten minutes.

I saw the little green GEO Metro circling the block as I hiked up the train tracks. I waved, and Mizelle looked right through me. I dashed into the store, wished Dr T a happy viewing, and got back outside. Mizelle walked up behind me, putting her hands over my eyes. (If I hadn’t been expecting her, that could be a recipe for disaster. Outside the Mothership can be a scary place.) She led me back to the car, where Lily and the Frenchman were waiting.

Being independently wealthy for a few minutes, I decided to treat them to Indian buffet. Off to Beaverton!

We went to Abhiruchi, a small Indian restaurant in a strip mall next to a K-Mart in Beaverton. This was the first place I’d had Indian food, and it made for a great story. (I’ll fish it out and post it sometime. It took ten minutes to chew my first bite…) We had been regulars, a long time ago, many relationships ago. Sight of the Frenchman and the baby had them scratching their heads.

Afterward, feeling sluggish from buffet and happy pills, I requested a ride to Wilsonville, home of Fry’s. I’d received gift cards for Christmas a year or two ago, and needed a new beard trimmer. Seemed like a plan. After missing the freeway exit, we meandered around and found the store. We managed to split up, shop, and find each other, only relying on the cell phones once, when I was trying to locate the car. The Frenchman was changing the baby in a shady spot. I sipped a diet lime Coke while we pondered our next move.

Traffic was a nightmare, so we took an exit near West Linn. (The fact that we’d almost ran out of gas encouraged this choice.) After topping off, we cruised through Lake Oswego, where I regaled them with tales of my misspent youth. We stopped by the river, where baby got a fresh diaper and a mouthful of boob.

Mizelle’s phone rang. It was her friend Emily. Since we were just across the bridge from her place, we decided to invade her.

Emily is one of Mizelle’s oldest friends. They schooled together, and Emily moved here shortly after Mizelle did. Emily has a ten-year-old son, Oscar, that I used to babysit. Once upon a time Emily was crazy. She’s much better now.

Oscar let us in. I hadn’t seen him for several years; my, how they grow. He showed Mizelle his home-drawn comics, and we met the giant guard-cats, Pantera and Slayer. They wanted nothing to do with me, but were eyeballing Lily suspiciously.

Emily arrived a few minutes later. After hugs and catch-ups, Oscar had to show us his pet spider. He brought out a glass box, and in the corner was a huge, creepy-looking arachnid of the Hobo variety. He or she had webbed the place, and was pacing impatiently. Hobo was hungry.

Emily sent Oscar out to the field next to the duck pond with instructions to bring back dinner. It took him about five minutes. He returned with a smaller spider in a jar. Gather round people, this is interesting stuff!

Emily carefully raised Hobo’s lid and quickly dumped victim spider inside. Hobo looked around for a second, realized he had company, and converged. Emily was excited. “Look! He bites its face off, then tears its legs off.” Sure enough, victim spider soon looked like the remains of a rotisserie chicken next to a homeless camp. Oscar was sent out for another spider. They repeated the process, but Hobo was full. He/she stalked the new victim spider, toying with it.

The cats guarded the doorway, and I made the comment, “At least you don’t have a rodent problem with them around.”

“Oh, we have rats,” said Emily. Oscar disappeared, and returned with two very large rodents. They squirmed, and he released them on the couch. The Frenchman raised his feet and curled up into a ball as they attacked. Okay, attack is a strong word. They sensed the nervousness and decided to show him some love. They crawled all over him.

“Ack! They peed on me!” he said in his cute French accent.

“That means they like you,” said Emily. They must have liked Mizelle too.

I didn’t get peed on, but I was part of their human Habitrail. They climbed up on my shoulder, tried to eat my earring, nibbled the short hair on my neck. I passed the camera to the Frenchman, who got a great shot of me with a five-pound rat sitting on my chest, looking me in the eye. Thank you for not peeing on me, big black rat…

It was time to fulfill the purpose of the visit. Emily had been present at Lily’s birth, and had taken home the little jar with a portion of the placenta. She pulled it out and showed it to everyone. I was holding Lily, who was sleeping. Mizelle handed me the jar of placenta, put the big gray rat on the back of the couch next to my shoulder and snapped a photo. It was like a scene from Woman’s World, as done by Fangoria. Emily had decided it was time to return the placenta to Mizelle, after her boyfriend, looking for munchies, had pulled it out of the freezer and asked, “Honey, what’s this?”

And so we left Vincent Price’s Wild Kingdom. What had turned from a walk into an all-day road trip was winding down. Lily had run out of diapers, so Emily loaned them an old towel. They dropped me off, but not before my niece got to supervise a feeding and hold Lily for at least a couple of minutes. She’s gonna make a great mom some day.

Speaking of which, happy Mother’s Day, y’all!

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