The Bends

     My first week back in Portland I didn't talk to anyone! It was as though I had spent three weeks in the abyss of my solitude and I needed to spend time in a decompression chamber so that I didn't get the bends for surfacing too fast. That decompression chamber being my house. I kept quiet on my social media platforms as to not hint that I was back in town. The only times I left my house was for the store or cafe to keep life sustained. I needed to process what had happened, I didn't want to experience anything else until I had fully drained the road trip for the knowledge and experiences it had taught me. So for a week, I lived simply. No emails, no calls, no text messages, no alarms to wake up to, home cooked meals, the entire first season of House of Cards, chapter after chapter of "100 Years of Solitude," beers with the roommates in the back yard while watching the sun set and the tunes of my summer playlist. We even established a sweet band set up in the basement and had a few jam sessions. Half the day spent by myself thinking and the other half with friends. If anything, this is how I imagined what being an adult would be like when I was 17. I can cross that dream off my list. 

   The following weekend of my return, a group of friends that live a few blocks down the street invited me to spend a day at Three Pools, near Opal Creak. The occasion was that these neighbors of ours had three German couch surfer girls that were road tripping down the west coast and felt the need to show them Oregon before they continued to their next stop. The situation could not have been more perfect! It was hot, the water was cool and clear. The first half of the day we spent cliff diving into the pools. I took the opportunity to capture these moments with my camera, hanging off of cliffs in order to get the shots, which I have a ton of! The second half of the day was spent further down stream at a more calm portion of the river, fit with a beach and lazy pool. Not to mention more cliffs to jump off of! It was our own secluded paradise. We sat there relaxing, we talked, we drank, we smoked, we laughed, we told short stories, we lived that day as though it was our last day of summer.  We got to know the Germans and they got to know us. Our "present" is our dreams and wishes of our future... in the past.

     In the midst of our relaxation, the book of short stories of the afterlife appeared. It's called "Sum." Coincidentally a close friend on my stop in Ashland during my road trip recommended I read the book, particularly the last story "The Reverse Life." My good friend Ted was kind enough to read it to all of us as we sat next to the river. The video is below.