Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekend Downtown Users borrowed my cell phone

I don’t spend a lot of time in downtown on weekends. It’s a very different place than it is on weekdays.

Weekday downtown users (WDDUs) stream in to the parking garages and tall glass buildings five mornings a week, only to return to their quiet little neighborhoods in the late afternoons and on weekends. It’s organized, rhythmic for the most part, well-kempt.

On weekends, my pleasant little city becomes Attack of the Bodysnatchers, but the only bodies being snatched are covered in scabs and tattoos. The place is fucking gross. I was mostly amazed that they keep this alternate slice of Portlandia so well hidden from us WDDUs.

Where do all these Weekend Downtown Users (WEDU) go? I should have never asked that question – they’re obviously looting the WDDUs neighborhoods on weekdays. Or maybe once downtown fills up with all us WDDUs, the WEDUs just blend in. Yeah, ok. We’ll go with that.

So I rode into downtown today (Sunday) to meet a friend and check out a movie. The WEDUs were in full junkie-fucking effect. I nearly ran over a few on my bike.

As we walked out of the theater after the show, my friend and I talking about the flick, we were asked by a tweaked out twenty-something couple (mind you, the worst looking twenties you’ve ever seen) if they could borrow a cell phone. They added some sob story about trying to get a ride back to Texas.

I had about a split second for the following thought - Don’t be “The Man.” Lend em the phone. Aww, man, I don’t want them touching my phone. That shit is personal. I understand if you’re a young lost kid, or an elderly person, or someone in real trouble that they didn’t create themselves. But not this bullshit... Don’t be “The Man.”

So I handed over the phone. One of their scabby claws grabbed it. The guy’s actually. He dialed a number with his back to me, hung up and dialed another.

I tried to continue a natural conversation with my friend about the movie we just saw, but it was useless. I was way too busy stressing over the Hep D he was leaving on my phone, which I will now never use again.

I know I shouldn't be surprised by all of this. It happens in major metropolitan areas all across the country - the seedy side exposed once the worker bees evacuate (a phenomenon, by the way, worthy of a documentary). I just thought my town was different.

So if you’re reading this, and you ooze something infected anywhere on your body that’s visible, let’s just play our respective roles.
You be the disgusting junkie messing up my nice little city. And I’ll be “The Man.”