Here I am, sipping a medium pumkin spice latte, chomping down on a freshly prepared roast beef on sourdough, in an independently owned coffee joint about one block from the jupiter hotel where we slept last night. The windows are fogged, the rain is slowly dusting the street. A bicycle is parked outside. It leans against the bike rack behind a newspaper dispenser marked "free".
Inside, I see a slender young woman with a large black puffy coat with a ring of faux fur stitched to the hood. Hair pulled up in some modification of the pony tail. She must like black. Everything she has on is a different shade of it. Black boots, black tights, black puffy coat, with hair as close to black as one may get without being such. It's cold outside. I can't say that I blame her for wearing it. The coat that is. It must be the style. Black goes with everything, and as long as it's raining why not wear black. Not like anyone else cares. It would make them hypocritical, you see. Black chucks, black combat boots, black and grey striped sweater, black backpack, hot pink highlights in a mostly black mohawk, eclectic black goatee, black skinny jeans donned in an air of normality. Her name is called, she takes her specialty tea, she takes her leave.
Leaves of wintering maples are everywhere. Leaves on the road, leaves on the sidewalk, leaves crowd around the spokes of the bicycle like cold and soaking concert goers ready to mosh. Who are we to stop them? They are here because they are supposed to be. Colored orange and yellow they fearlessly remain. The trees are most impressive, though. The green and mossy tendrils lurching toward the heavens in defiance of the cold. Threadbare remnants of color still cling to their thin and wiry branches. They stretch and grasp for something too far out of reach, a goal too lofty to obtain, too stubborn to give up.
I remain at a table, toasty beside a kenwood space heater, my latte long gone, my body satisfied, and my beautiful wife sitting across from me sipping her coke over the backdrop of soft jazz and an espresso machine trilling the air. Portland, you are wonderful.