Like most people that live in Portland right now, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of “the sky is grey, everything is grey, the choices I make get perpetually worse every year, my life is going nowhere, I want to die, is there someone available to take care of my cat if I do decide to murder myself,” etc., or you’re just staring forlornly at a picture of your ex (the one that wasn’t that horrible, just kind of boring) and thinking that you are, no doubt, going to die alone. I am not going to refute any of those thoughts, or try and talk you out of it. I’m just going to work with you, to try and discuss how to survive them, and the rest of this cold, lachrymose, nothing, endless, never-ending, goes-on-forever Portland winter.
1. Stay warm – this is like…so important. If you’re freezing, physically, you get these ideas in your head that you’re the Little Match Girl and you’re poor and you’re going to die and you can’t even get your shit together enough to maintain a decent body temperature (come on. Aren’t you closing in on 30?), and this will make you cry yourself to sleep/death. So make sure to get extra blankets, wear a bunch of fucking scarves (I know you have them, you wacky little Oregonian hipster!) and invest in some warm socks. Or steal some, from one of your remaining friends.
This picture of dudes partying in the winter is from some site called blingee.com
2. Get drunk – this is also very important. DO NOT FORGET TO PARTY this winter. The cold weather in this town makes people want to write poetry in the dark by themselves, via candlelight, and hibernate. Don’t do that, man. Give your Elliot Smith records to someone in Los Angeles for safekeeping. Just for the winter. (Because blah blah blah we all know “LA sucks” and the only time you get weird about it, is when it’s below freezing here.) So pick out your cutest winter ensemble, seek a new bar, where there will be new tail to chase, and order seven or 30 fancy cocktails. Just drink until you can’t feel cold or feelings anymore.
This is me and my friend Elisa, getting drunk. (Actually I don’t even know if this was in winter. Or in Portland.)
3. Have sex with people - you heard me. Sometimes preceding this activity with the aforementioned activity makes this more likely to happen. That makes no sense. Shut up.
4. Get a pet – you should get a fucking pet anyway. Isn’t that part of the reason you moved here? It is so goddamn pet-friendly it is ridiculous. And if you have a pet, there is generally always someone hanging out at home and stoked that you are back, whether you lost your job, got dumped, or spilled coffee all over your new white work blouse. They don’t care that you got fat. They just wanna eat food and snuggle and party with you.
5. Go snowboarding/skiing – if you’re into that shit. IDK. My pop always told me to stick to what I’m good at (in reality I don’t think he actually ever said that, I just think it sounds cool) and I’ve always been embarrassingly awful at sports/most things.
This is me, travelling to somewhere else.
6. Travel – get the hell out of Dodge, dude. Portland’s amazing but it’s ok to get away sometimes, to places that are less foreboding the months of December-March. Got a friend in Scottsdale? Maybe they need help with that impending art project! Know a dude in Australia? Throw a shrimp on the Barbie (?) with them, or whatever. If you’re one of the five people here that has a job, use those saved-up vacation days to escape the chill.
Have you participated in any of these activities this winter, Portland? Do you hate these ideas/my writing and me? (I knew it.) How do you escape your own mind when it seems like the dead of winter is eating at what’s left of your blackened soul? Leave it in the comments below. Let’s get through this, together.