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Portland as Fuck

"Ignition (Remix)"

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I'VE GIVEN myself a death sentence. I have a month, maybe two, left in Portland before I leave for the yellower pastures of Los Angeles. I feel everything about it—I'm eager to prove myself and represent our comedy scene, I'm anguished to leave behind this paradise of indulgences and allowances, I'm excited to make fun of Anaheim, but more than anything I'm paralyzed. I'm so goddamn aware that I'm leaving that I'm having trouble doing any of the fun, important stuff that people insist you do before you leave: spend time with loved ones, revisit the most important sandwiches, and go hang out near Multnomah Falls for some stupid reason.

Everyone keeps telling me to live in the moment, friends constantly remind me that I'll be back to visit all the time, and still the knowledge that my days are numbered weighs on me like an obese gutter punk's Dr. Martens. Until recently, I've been sitting in my room, doing nothing, hoping the glacial skid of monotony and depression would eventually bring all of time to a complete halt and I could just exist, forever, at 3 pm on June 20, making grilled cheese sandwiches in my friend's kitchen, singing the remix to R. Kelly's "Ignition," "MAMA ROLLIN' THAT BODY, GOT EVERY MAN IN HERE WISHING (wishing now!)." That isn't life, though. Life is hard, and decisions are mayhem, and distance is a motherfucker, but if you can square that shit with yourself, life is beautiful anyway, family.

I'm going to live in the moment, I'm going to remind myself that I'll be back to visit all the time, I'm not going to fucking go to Multnomah Falls though. Why? Because it's a waterfall? Because it's water and gravity? I can mix water and gravity by spitting on a copy of Willamette Week (I really don't have a problem with Willamette Week, I think it's a wonderful paper, but they seem to want a rivalry, so cultivating that is going to be one of the fun things I do before I leave) and I don't even have to get out of the chair I'm sitting in.

I invite you to live in the moment with me, this is going to be my last full summer here for a little while, but it might be yours, too. Statistically, someone reading this column will be eaten by a whale IN THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS (UNLESS YOU REPOST THIS COLUMN ON YOUR FACEBOOK!!!). That's just science.

Fucking do something this summer. I'm going to. I'm going to go visit Outrageous Audio and ask that dude what "tweeters" are. I saw a bar in Gresham with an Elvis impersonator and I'm going to go see that, too. I'm going to swim in the Willamette and accidentally swallow some of it and then not sleep well that night. I'm going to take my siblings out for dinner, I'm going to get drunk with my friends, I'm going to get a coffee with the characters from my life who spun off their own shows, because spending time with people you love before you leave doesn't make it hurt more when you go, and even if it does, it's a lush, affirming ache that shames the doofus unease of loneliness and stagnation. I'm going to hang out in my friend's kitchen and I'm going to make more grilled cheese sandwiches, because I want to really remember, viscerally remember, where home is when I finally do have to bounce (bounce, bounce, bounce. IT'S LIKE MURDER SHE WROTE, ONCE I GET YOU OUT THEM CLO...). @IanKarmel

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