A few months ago, I had a funny conversation with a friend of a friend, whose very unusual first name began with an M. When my friend introduced me to M, I said, “Oh, you must know [GhostBand singer]. I think she might have been in the same school program as both of you were. Were you at the Goodfoot?”
“Nope,” M replied. “Never been there before.”
“That’s weird,” I said, “maybe I’m wrong about the school program, but I met another friend of hers—maybe from college?—and there are two of you with the same name.”
“I don’t think so,” she said. “If there was another one of us, I’d know about it.”
“Yeah. It’s an unusual enough name that I wouldn’t forget it. But she exists.”
“I doubt it,” she said. This is starting to get weird.
“Okay.” I said. Resistance was useless. Fast forward a few minutes into the conversation, and the little group of us was talking about food and restaurants; a favorite subject here in Portland. I mentioned one and gave it a good recommendation.
“Oh, I love that place,” M said. “Too bad it closed down.”
“Really, when? I was just there.”
“A few months ago, or a year, maybe.”
“No, it’s still open. I ate there a couple weeks ago.”
“No, it’s totally closed.”
I get no pleasure from arguing, and only resort to it if the subject is really something worth fighting about. Things like people I’ve met, or restaurants that aren’t closed, those aren’t even arguments, they’re wastes of time that could be better spent in a good conversation. I had a similarly funny and surreal one with my stepmom this past weekend. The subject of music came up, and she had a question.
“Who’s the guy from Hoquiam [tiny town on the coast of Washington state] who died? The musician?”
“Yeah, that’s him.”
“He was from Aberdeen, though.”
“No, he was from Hoquiam.”
“I don’t know if he was born in Aberdeen or not, but he grew up and went to school there. I’ve watched a bunch of documentaries and stuff about him.”
“Yeah, that’s Hoquiam. There’s a bridge there, and a memorial.”
“But that’s all in Aberdeen. I’ve been to that bridge.”
Well, here it is, the bridge over the Wishkah river. I didn’t make this video, but it’s a simple and touching tribute. And it’s in Aberdeen.
And since we happen to be on the subject of Nirvana and documentaries, I can’t recommend this one, “About a Son,” highly enough. It’s told exclusively through audio interviews, and filmed in a very compelling way, and it walks you through Kurt’s entire life story. You never see him speak, but his voice narrates the entire thing. It’s candid and haunting, and I think you’ll agree.