October 19, 2007

Here in Spain I am a Spaniard.

This morning the rain was pounding my house while I tried to eat breakfast. It doesn't seem to do that very often. What I remember of Southern California rain is a few days out of the year with the skies pouring buckets while the Los Angeles River rises menacingly in its concrete embankments; here it drizzles and drips and clears and then drizzles again, and the Willamette is always stolidly the same. Today my street was a narrow peninsula with lakes rising in the blocked gutters and flooded potholes, but when I dragged myself damply onto the train and rode across the bridge to work, the Willamette was unchanged and unimpressed.

I am not unchanged or unimpressed, and I have begun drinking coffee again. I resigned myself some time ago to the fact that this would happen; I always quit and return and quit and return again as the need arises. When I moved to northern Oregon I understood that I was cordially inviting the need into my life. Last night in the grocery store I walked past the bins of coffee beans, sustainably-grown, ethically-purchased, and locally-roasted, and I thought about my kitchen with the rain and cold outside and the warm toasty coffee smell inside, and while I thought about it my hands operated of their own accord to competently dispense and grind a small bag of Stumptown's finest. While it was grinding I looked around nervously and wondered if the people passing by could tell that I wasn't really a coffee drinker. You see how she's holding that bag? they whispered behind their hands. Tea people. I tell you.

Here in Stumptown, I have just realized, I am evidently a stump. I shall sit here very still with my small cup of coffee, and I will put up no leaves to shield myself from the rain. The weather forecast predicts heavy wind, rain, cold fronts or maybe warm fronts but definitely some kind of fronts, and perhaps thunder and funnel clouds. But stumps give little attention to these things.

Posted by dianna at October 19, 2007 03:33 PM