I had a hard week. I won’t bother going into details, but it had something to do with what I later learned is called a “grief burst.” Just when I thought I was doing soooooo much better. Hmmmph. At least it helps to define these things so you know you’re “normal” and thus deeming it unnecessary to check yourself into the psychiatric ward!
Believe me, I tried all my usual tricks to soothe my dark mood — I baked pies for friends and neighbors (6 pies to be exact), I ate pie (3 pieces over the course of the week), I went on daily hikes (for over an hour each morning), I got a lot of extra sleep (in bed as early as 8:30 on several nights), and I Skyped with the girlfriends I’ve dubbed “Team Marcus” for their unwavering ability to prop me up these past 6 months.
All of that was helpful enough, that is, until late Friday afternoon. I had just stocked up on Granny Smith apples at the local Fred Meyer so I could bake a pie for my friend’s baby shower the next day. I was pulling out of my parking space and when I glanced in my rearview mirror instead of seeing a clear path I saw a blue Honda, really close, too close. “Objects are closer than they appear.” Add to my week my first ding in my MINI Cooper.
So what did I do? No, I didn’t run to the nearest pie shop for a slice of fruity, buttery comfort. I did something I never, ever do. I went to a bar. Alone. For Happy Hour.
This wasn’t just a bar, it was my favorite bar, Mint/820, the one Marcus and I had been to countless times. I ordered an Ad Lib (lemon-lime juice, vodka, and cilantro) and a side of sweet potato fries from the bartender, the same tall sandy-haired guy that used to wait on Marcus and me.
Sitting there by myself, surrounded by the exposed brick walls, the crowd of Portland’s more sophistated hipsters (i.e.: fewer tattoos and body piercings), and the loud techno-jazz lounge music, I basked in the familiarity, the city vibe, and the memories of Marcus. I’m not advocating alcohol, but by the time I finished my cocktail (and fries) I felt like I had pressed the re-set button. I felt a renewed sense of normalcy. Okay, maybe not normal, but at least ready to face another week.
Not that you can schedule these things, but the next time I get hit with a grief burst, hopefully it will happen sometime between 4 and 6PM in the vicinity of a certain bar on North Russell Street.