-95 : Triangulation

“I’ve got that deer in the headlights look locked up.” – Family of the Year

I came to Portland because I need to keep the depatterning going. A sense, a hunch, that getting far enough away from home, on my own, just for a few days, might clarify. Add the kind of perspective I’m missing, up so close to all this new action. And, I suppose, because it takes three points to triangulate, and the farther off that third point is, the sharper the angle it crates, when tied back to the other two.

Sharp angles seem right. Taking an X-Acto to the metallic tape and oil pastel drawing of my life.


A post shared by Scott Cooper (@stearth) on

And time has been at such a weird premium lately, since my Big Lebowski summer ended, that I needed some discrete, partitioned Time For Little Squares. Or if not technically needed, really wanted.

Like this: I’m sitting here in a Pacific Time Saturday “morning” cafe — feels like late evening to me, after an absurdly early wake time to make it to the airport — which I never do; typing this on a laptop, which I’ve never had before. They just leave the front door open, as there is no evil Augustinian damp and, apparently, no bugs outside; even now that it’s raining from a mostly-clear sky. I mean: sure — why not?

I’ve already seen more #keepportlandweird in an hour than in a whole day in, say, Bloomington, Indiana; and more than in a lifetime in Fillmore. It’s delicious. Like: oh, sure — why wouldn’t you paint all that cool shit on your garage? Why not pink cowboy boots over thigh-high red and black striped socks, under an ancient jean jacket on a guy who’s probably six-seven? People wandering gritty streets with their little kids, still haven’t recognized a single song on the house music overhead, and I walked all of five goddamn blocks to get here. We really do live in a cultural desert.

So yeah. Depatterning. Triangulation. Can’t/shouldn’t specify on that second one too much just now, but the depatterning = definitely. Deciding, mostly on the fly, to take a trip somewhere I’ve never been (unless one counts driving through on the way to the 1986 World’s Fair in Vacouver; I do not), to see a friend I haven’t hung out with in — 25 years? — on my own (eg. sans la famiglia), spending money on a plane ticket that was once slated for a new salt kiln, skipping away from my amazing new job for the second time since starting it six weeks ago — this is all, on the face of it, pretty nuts. But so is loving my dayjob. So is starting to think of myself, after almost three decades of not, as a capital-a Artist, just because I do some fucking random junk on paper now and took a two day stonecarving workshop. So is seriously thinking about moving from the country back to town, to be close to… well, work and school and Starbucks and the gym and the guys I play board games with and Pixel’s friends and… well, all the stuff I thought I didn’t need — wouldn’t need — when I so gladly left 13 1/2 years ago.

Hmm. Thinking maybe I shouldn’t have named this one ‘Triangulation’ if I’m not actually gonna write about that, but I’m trying to let these intuitive titles stick and not go changing them later. Sometimes you think you’re just procrastinating or distracting yourself from the task at hand, when you’re really on a boat, sailing around it a bit, looking for a solid mooring. [OK, I completely stole that. Sorry, PR.]

Maybe it is about triangulating, but I just can’t see how yet. Maybe I’ll see how tomorrow; or the next day. Or only after I return home.

Oh — right: I’m supposed to be writing about depression. Ha. It’s been so long now that I sometimes go hours at a time without remembering that that used to be me. It went away like a swift bird. I’m starting to believe it ain’t coming back anytime soon, barring a global shortage of Prozac or some other deep tragedy.

Well, the medium is the message. A depressed person — the depressed person I was — would not — not ever, never, ever — hop a plane to a mostly-unknown destination for mostly-unknown reasons and then start figuring it out after he arrived.

In a sweet little cafe.

With the front door open, and the cool rain outside.

No, it ain’t no passing phase. Baby, I’m no good at nothin’.”