A Shot in the Dark

I’m sitting in a little coffeeshop (called “Main Street Bistro and Coffee”) in downtown Silverton. There’s a blinking traffic signal off to my left. It’s not swaying in the breeze but it may as well be. I sip my “shot in the dark”—so-named as it’s a shot of espresso in a cup of brewed, black coffee—and listen to Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be”, featuring the same expression in the lyric. It’s all coming together. The coffee shop takes up the first two floors on the corner of the Wolf Building on E. Main and N. Water St.

I was given the last week of February off from work. I had forgotten I had the time but as my boss is decent, she made sure I didn’t lose something that was rightfully mine. I wonder, had I not been given the time off, how I would have been able to hold up under the slow landslide of homework that marks the end of the semester. But I got the time and so I was able to give my assignments their due and then think about and plan a mini vacation.

So I drove up to Portland and stayed the night at a hostel on SE Hawthorne. It’s amazing how a couple hundred miles removed (as opposed to the “thousand” spoken of in the aforementioned song) from one’s “comfort” zone serves to “switch up the batteries”, if recharge the ones that lay dormant in my heart and mind. The hostel felt the same and so did the neighborhoods through which I ran this morning after I got up. Downtown Portland yields itself up after a brief stroll here and there: gray. But it’s a good gray. And thank God it wasn’t raining like it was yesterday when I arrived. I took a stroll then as well and got soaked to my socks. My shoes are still drying out. I was effectively cleansed from the grit and grim of the quotidian and the mundane that silted up in my soul while in Medford.

I subscribe to Multiverse Theory, but not in the way you might think. There’s such a thing as “distance” and then something altogether different called “time”. Though in the case of the latter, the difference from the former is a metaphorical one. Here’s the thing: both distance and time are covered through movement. And if one spends the necessary time to get where they’re supposed to be with reference to activities and responsibilities (like in the case of my homework), then they’ll get to a place where time will still flow the sixty seconds to a minute and sixty minutes to an hour. But alongside this, another dimension will open up of possibility and potential. All the beautiful things that lay dormant in your heart and mind will begin to unfold like the moist wings of a butterfly emerging from the cocoon. Let them stretch in those minutes and hours. You don’t necessarily have to be removed geographically but take that time and make it work for you now. Everything else that you temporarily leave behind will be waiting for you, don’t worry about that. But give it up for a few moments and give yourself time and space to breathe. Try it. It’s a shot in the dark but trust me, it sounds great.

It’s also delicious.

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