Ray worked really late on Friday night, which is typical for him, being a server at a wine bar here in Portland. Sometime after midnight, my door creaked open, and into my bed he crept, and promptly fell asleep after a day of working not only his evening server job, but also his early morning shift at a cafe across town. Needless to say, he was tired.
In the morning though, as we sipped coffee and nibbled sumptuous donuts that nobody really needs in their diet, we started off on a day filled with adventures. Ray wasn’t sure that he’d have the entirety of the day off, but as we progressed, and the weather hovered around damp and cold (he was scheduled to work the outside seating area if the weather was up to par), we got into his truck and took off out of town.
Our first stop was to grab lunch at Brass Tacks, a very Portland-esque sandwich shop. Female-owned, locally sourced everything, vegan friendly, the sandwiches were good (though they replaced my roast beef and turkey with something akin to seitan without my consent) and the homemade chips that accompanied our sandwiches were even better. We set off up I-5, with the idea that we’d go explore Mt. St. Helens, locates some miles to the north of Portland, in Washington state. It had been since I was four, and shortly after the last major eruption in 1980, since I’d been there, so it was set to be a nice trip down distant memory lane. Plus, as we are both wont to do at the end of a workweek, we were anxious to get out of town and actually do something other than interact with other people, and spend time with each other.
We saw the science center, pulled off the road along the way to take some photos, listened to some music in the truck, and generally discovered just how easily we get along together. Ray is about the most easy-going of people I know, he’s always up for a little side-trip and moments of spontaneity, and in his heart lies a sense of wonder and innocence about the world around us that I really, really appreciate. He gets it – the need to be in the woods, to hike a trail, to stand next to the wide open sea, to enjoy rolling down the highway and taking in the movement of the land underneath us. I find myself caught in moments where all I want to do is smile and shake my head in the disbelief that, in fact, there exists another person on this planet with similar perspectives and appreciations as I have. The more I get to know him, and the more time I spend with him, the clearer this becomes.
We left the mountain sometime around five, and returned to the house for a late-afternoon nap. Last night, after catching a few zzz’s and such, we set off to enjoy the evening and attend a show by BT, one of my first and favorite trance DJs who was in town. I had bought the tickets for the show about a month ago, and I wasn’t sure that Ray would enjoy his music as much as I did. Turns out, Ray really did like the show, and it was there, in the dank space of the Whiskey Bar, as he slid his hand in mine and grinned as we gyrated and danced together among a room full of strangers, that it really hit me just how lucky I am to have him at my side these days.
I like having an adventure companion. I like having a person who I can glance at and see a knowing and silent understanding among a throng of people. I like being able to reach out across the cab of his truck and squeeze his hand when a moment of bliss washes over me, and all of the things in my world seem right and just, and have him squeeze my hand back with a gesture of understanding.