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People

It’s Alice! I’ve known her for almost 20 years, maybe more. We’ve never known each other very well but we just know all sorts of things about each other: where are your kids now; how are they doing; where are you living; are you seeing someone; any trips coming up? I’d be open to talking in greater depth, but somehow we don’t. Still, she’s become a significant marker in my life, my time, my geography just because there have been so many hellos. Each one feels richer than the last.

Some folks still share the sidewalks with family members and people they grew up with. Not me, although I’ve found a few of them on Facebook: school people; work people; early children bonds; later children times; charitable boards and the current lists of neighbors, friends-of-friends, old lovers and the people you get to know through them. On my best days it’s a rich stewpot and I’m grateful to have them all out there connecting me to the far distant frame of this picture.

Now that everyone knows our Portland secrets, I suppose it’s not a surprise that I almost never going out in public without running into someone I know. For me, it started when I’d been here for six months. I love it. I start to panic when I don’t run into a huggable person before a performance starts. That stress will no doubt be alleviated at intermission, whether I’m at a movie, opera, rock concert, mainstage or micro-box theatre production.

And now a lot of those people reach a certain status. I’ve been sharing these streets and performances, this growth of our city and the electronica that can connect and separate us for twenty and thirty years. It’s really something. What kind of a something? Something like mirrors and measuring sticks, inching out my life, connection-by-connection.