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I just got back from a yoga class, to which I drove my truck. Driving anywhere is still strange to me. For the last year my truck was not registered. For several years before that it was registered, but I barely managed to start it up once a week. I ride my bike. I use public transportation. I walk. I have an aversion to the automobile. I think it is part of our demise. And yet, I drive. I just drove all the way to AZ and back. And it was a blessing.

Right now I don't have a trimet bus pass, because school is not in session. When I don't have a pass, the bus seems sort of pricey. A couple bucks, maybe three. Enough that I'd rather bike or drive than pay to ride the bus. The bus isn't always pleasant. During non-commuter hours it is full of the lowest rung of local society, the homeless, the drug addicted, the skinny tattooed men with guitars, the toothless cigarette-smoking shouting fat mothers and their unruly children, the middle aged men carrying trash bags full of cans that they've collected from richer people's trash. It's not easy to have a civil conversation with this population, believe me, I've tried.

Even when I lived in Flagstaff, I used my bike to go everywhere. My truck was reserved for more distant trips to rivers and mountains. I rode into town for yoga classes, and groceries. I commuted to work daily, aggressively, for time. I chose my home location such that I could avoid using the truck. I felt good knowing it was there, and felt great when I didn't need it.

Here in Portland I've done the same thing. I live close to the center of the city, where I can catch public transportation to almost anywhere. Everything I need to survive and get through school is within one mile of here. This is intentional on my part, it is not an accident. A large part of my choice to come to Portland is the city's reputation as a bicycle commuter's haven, a green progressive place.

But when my truck wasn't registered, I felt trapped here. I didn't like that the public transport doesn't go to wilderness. It goes to cities, not to mountains and rivers. I found it depressing. I am glad that I have the ability now to go to the mountains at will. I am grateful to Bill. He fixed my truck when all the other mechanics had written it off. He has an appreciation for simple functional durable machinery.


Aug. 16th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
"During non-commuter hours it is full of the lowest rung of local society....It's not easy to have a civil conversation with this population, believe me, I've tried."

maybe they sensed your judgment? I don't know, but w/ the hierarchy in humanity view it seems that you may be the one distancing yourself from others. I taught university courses and worked at a homeless shelter at the same time and could just as easily speak w/ both populations, I think it's a matter of understanding different perspectives.

Maybe you were just being funny and I'm overly sensitive, but I just cringe when I hear people marginalize populations or individuals and want to speak up to counter it.

I really appreciate and enjoy reading your posts and I'm grateful to have you as a LJ friend. I'm not upset, I'm just interested in learning more about your perspective as well and so I like to state when I disagree - is that cool w/ you?
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
It's cool when you think you know my perspective and respond to it. It's also cool when you recognize that you may be reacting more than accurately sensing my point of view. What if I do not judge these people? What if your assessment of my perspective is skewed? Could that be possible?

I recognize that by lumping any group of people as a "population" I am likely to offend someone. So I will attempt to remain polite while I point out that you are making a big assumption about me and my point of view.

Seems like everybody is sensitive these days.
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
yes I apologize, that's a good point and just what I thought of as well after I wrote this - that I jumped to conclusions
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:41 am (UTC)
No worries. I get cranky when someone thinks I'm a bigot. But then, I might be. So I have to keep checking in. Keep on being honest with me, it's cool. =-]



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