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Hillsboro, OR


I know what day it was when I last hit the pause symbol. It was the fourth of March 2019. Now I’m not so sure because I’ve been living in this moment for longer than I can think. I’ve tried counting the days but since I didn’t practice that to begin with I can’t really recall how many passed. So far as I know I’m still in late May or maybe June. I haven’t grown any and I don’t have a long ZZ Top beard so I know it hasn’t been years. Unless time works funny in this spot I find myself in then I really don’t know.

Walking further into Hillsboro and then even further into Beaverton though I saw things that were just amazing. I saw kids forever suspended in midair as they’d been bouncing on a trampoline in their backyard. I saw people engaged in various acts that I won’t go into here but will allow you to imagine. Everyone was frozen, every last person, and I couldn’t budge a single one of them. I tried if you can believe that. I tried to move a lot of them, but it was like trying to move a statue that’s rooted to the spot. Even those that weren’t even touching the ground wouldn’t be moved, as though the air had just reached out and grabbed them somehow.

You ever watch those movies where people stop time or make it go really slow and then do whatever they want? I thought about that, but when I reached downtown Beaverton I found out that the appeal isn’t all that great. I even managed to go into a strip club that my father had always clucked his tongue at whenever we passed. He’d always said that STARZ was one of the biggest blights on the city that he’d ever seen, nothing but shameless women shaking everything they had for men that had as little shame as the dancers. But hey, curiosity is a real thing, especially with young men, so I went in anyway.

It was dark, that was my first impression. But when I saw the women up on the stage I kind of forgot about the lighting and stood there staring for a few minutes, longer than I intended to but, hey, no one was telling me to get out. I’d seen naked women before in magazines, but this was just, like, wow. I hadn’t seen them doing this in real life and to be honest I still really haven’t, but it was enough to be able to be so close to them and know that if things were going the way they should be that I’d be getting to see a lot more, at least until the bouncer, a big burly guy that looked like he came out of a beer commercial, kicked me out on my butt.

You can imagine that I stayed there for a while and contemplated having a few drinks from the well-stocked bar that was on the wall opposite the stage, but my stomach was rumbling already just at the thought of it and I took off. I kept walking for a while before deciding that it might be time to get back. I hadn’t even thought about how long the symbol’s effect would last.

Turns out I didn’t have to worry about that.

(to be continued)

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