Speaking of Lists

I find the strangest things sometimes. I’m no Davy Rothbart mind you, just someone with a tendency to stare at the ground.

More often than not I find lists. One of my more recent finds was this scrap of paper next to the library catalog. It instantly made my typed inquiry of “Volvo repair, brake light” seem a bit prosaic. I tried to conjure a picture of the woman who wrote this: respectably edgy, tattooed, pixie-like PDX mama (recent mama) concerned with jump starting Junior’s cerebellum while traveling the globe in dodgy hostels full of “real” people. As the portrait became more and more vivid I realized that this fictitious hipster parent that I was creating said more about my perceptions of Portland than it did about the actual person who might have penned the list. Almost immediately I began to feel a tad arrogant. Portland isn’t just a hotbed of young, Leftist, caucasian urbanites, and only a blatant elitist would state such a thing.*

I turned back to my search for car repair manuals. Naturally, all the Volvo items were checked out.

* A blatant elitist or Dave Hickey, who proclaimed Portland the land where, “the White People won” at a speech he gave here a number of years ago. Every person in the audience was mildly outraged in a socially appropriate manner.

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