|Written by Surly Santa|
|Thursday, 10 December 2009 16:20|
I awoke on a stranger's floor, fully clothed in my red Santa suit and heavy black boots. Next to me my hat, wig, and beard were scrunched up beside an overturned glass pipe. I picked up the pipe and jabbed my finger into the bowl, feeling nothing inside but ash. Then, grabbing a coffee cup from the cluttered coffee table, I stumbled past the fat guy sleeping on the couch and went into the kitchen. Shoving stacks of dirty dishes aside, I filled the cup with water from the faucet and took a swig, grimacing from the taste of plastic and rust.I wandered into the bathroom and took a whiz, my urine an unhealthy dark yellow. Flushing the toilet, I stared at my face in the mirror as I washed my hands. I looked much better than I felt – not too shabby, Santa, not too fucking shabby at all you handsome fuck! Then suddenly my guts shifted, and a moment later I was spraying puke into the toilet, lurching again and again until there was nothing left. After the dry heaving had subsided I flushed and returned to the mirror. Now my eyes were glossy, bloodshot, and bruised. That was more like it.
In the living room the guy on the couch was stirring, so I said, “Hey, man, I gotta get outta here. Should I take a cab home, or...?” My voice sounded like gravel in a garbage disposal.
The guy peered at me through swollen eyes and grumbled, “Where do you live?”
“Southeast, fairly close-in,” I said. I picked up my ratty beard from the floor and wore it like a hideous necklace, then plopped the wig and hat loosely on my head.
“Nah man,” the guy said. “A cab would be expensive as fuck from here. There's a MAX station a couple blocks that way. You can't miss it.”
“How far out are we?” I croaked, downing the last of the water from the coffee cup. All I could taste now was bile.
“End of the fuckin' line, dude.”
End of the fucking line, indeed. The morning air was bitter cold as I stepped out of the double-wide, and an angry wind hit my face. I pulled my hat and wig down, trying to cover my ears, but the thin, tattered material offered little resistance against the biting breeze.
When I got to the light rail platform I realized that this was literally the end of the line, as there was only one way to go. I stepped onto the waiting train and took a seat, swallowing hard. My throat was parched and sore from the vomiting, and my stomach was still dangerously upset. I was not prepared for the long ride ahead.
My girlfriend, Kimbot, had left frantic messages on my cell phone, worried about where the hell I was and why I hadn't come home last night. I called her and explained that I'd somehow ended up in a trailer park in deep Gresham, although I couldn't really recall the specific details of how I'd gotten there. I had vague memories of being invited to smoke pot at someone's house, like an after party, and I remember asking from the back of an SUV, “So where exactly is this place?”
Now my stomach was churning, and my body felt weak, and I was cold and sweaty at the same time, stuck on this godforsaken train. I desperately needed water. A little girl was staring at me from a nearby seat. I tried to muster up a smile for her and felt a painful sting as my chapped lower lip cracked open, and the train slid forward through a sadistic world full of unemployment and ugly people and crusty Christmas dog shit.
The Second Annual North Portland Anticon was held last Saturday, December 5, 2009. It's a spin-off event and a kind of precursor to the infamous Portland SantaCon that takes place downtown later in the month. Below is some video I shot before I got too drunk to use my camera.