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Portland: Garage, Dining Room and Bar
Writing Spot #1: 3/3/2022
© 2022 James LaFond
The membrane lining on the flat roof 13 feet overhead provides rain cadence ranging from patter, to electrical static, to the roar of a waterfall. The tree above the back of the garage where my small bed is behind the engine hoist and the weight bench is home to two crows. At sunrise the crows drop down one by one onto the roof and then duck clatter to the southeast eve over the door and take flight.
The cheap laptop that plays the audio books better than this expensive one, sits with the external hard drive and flip the hero phone on the three drawer Sterilite plastic bed stand. In the jump boots on the floor to the left are my screen glasses in their case.
Here in the north corner the small single bed is lined with four pillows. For writing I place two behind me and sit, one on my lap for this machine, and one between the hip and wall for the mouse.
I like writing with my feet elevated as it keeps the broken veins in my right leg from blowing up and swelling.
Under the weight bench is a full set of dumbbells for twice weekly exercise between writing.
On the other side of the engine hoist is the heavy bag, the double-ended bag and the snake for boxing and stick work on alternate days.
Guitars, a drum kit—oh, there are three crows living in the tree above now, and they all just dropped down on the roof—an amplifier stack and an electric organ fill out the 16 by 16 foot area, which is carpeted with dark squares. The rolling door has been caulked and insulated as a makeshift wall. The gear box and gear bag for stick and knife and bat training is between the two doors. The walls and ceiling area nice white, which I helped to paint.
For lighting there is the naked light bulb above the door next to the garage door on the Southeast wall, the studio light clipped above the power strip, and the LED lamp on the organ, all on the left, away from the sensitive eye.
My trash can is a paper Safeway bag and my recycle can is a 5-gallon bucket.
The weight bench serves as a coat hanger.
On the other side of the plastic night stand are the empty boxes I shipped my boots and duster in, that when I am here, are flipped over and used to stack boots, and when I am gone, are filled with boots and clothes and stacked.
At the foot of the weight bench is a plug in oil radiator heater to keep down the humidity mostly and to dry hats on, donated by my host’s girl.
At the head of the weight bench is a rotating upright heater donated by my host’s mother, which is usually turned on while writing or during a cold snap at night.
One of the crows is snooping around on the roof above, stopping overhead and listening to my activity, I suspect; walking when I pause and stopping when I type.
There I no wifi here, which is excellent, causing me to focus on finishing projects. I have completed more books per month spent in Portland than any other spot. When it is cold enough in the garage to numb my hands, I will write at the dining room table of the main house, a small single floor place ten feet to my left, just out that door.
On Fridays I walk 2 miles to The Bar, where I will be one of only a few patrons at noon. Drinking coffee, I use their wifi to address emails, thank site buyers and donators, send files to the editor for Patreon and Substack, send completed book drafts and download questions and comments sent in by readers for an article starter to be written back here.
This is an easy spot—that crow keeps marching back and fourth above me, stopping every time I type, then marching when I pause—to stay on Rick’s List and observe Ghetto Keto eating habits. There are no smiling church ladies reminding me that I should eat more, eat now, eat again…
The typical Dollar Store meal is once daily:
in a bowl and nuked for five minutes
$1.25, 10 ounces of frozen vegetables
$1.25, 4 Bar-S smoked sausages, sliced
$1.25, 4 ounces of cheese, cubed
salt, spices, hot sauce or a few jalapenos, topped with some of Rick’s nutritional yeast he gave me.
The pot of coffee and creamer I drink coasts about 25 cents.
The snack nuts and pork rinds cost about $1.75 a day.
The 48 ounce Tampico Zero calorie mango punch is perfect for mixing rum and only costs $1.25.
So I’m eating and drinking for about $8 a day, since the rum was donated.
Two nights a week I have dinner at the bar, two plates of meatballs for $6 a piece, nuked, and five pints of Coors light.
When I finish a book I will celebrate by going to the micro-brew hipster bar and nuking my brain rather then dinner.
Thank you, Yeti Waters.
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