Molly Smithson

Welcome to Portland!

Molly Smithson
Welcome to Portland!

Mission accomplished! I write this from our sun-filled living room, three days after arriving in the Rose City. 

Our last day, we flew through Idaho, the colors becoming more and more similar to vague childhood memories of Eastern Oregon. Different shades of rock layered nubby mountains like a prehistoric parfait, dotted with shrubby bushes and Juniper. These are the scenes deep in my mind. They have inspired a love for the unexplainable, the unsolved mysteries of human and otherworldly life. 

We came into the Willamette Valley as the sun set. For the first time in at least 10, but maybe 13 years, I saw Mount Hood appear in the windshield before me. I was home. 

I can't believe Luke leaves today- it feels like both a month and less than an hour that we had repacked the car, piled in and left Asheville. In reality, it has only been a week. 

While he was here, we were able to knock some of Oregon's biggest attractions off of our bucket lists, like Cannon Beach and the International Rose Test Garden. We also drank great beer (a lot of it, as we often do), ate great oysters and shopped a bit. 

Today, I begin to explore the city alone. While I'm devestated to see Luke leave, I'm a little excited for anonymity, to scout the scene as a silent singular figure. I often get anxious about joining a group- signing up for a team or club, taking a class solo. But if it's an in-and-out, one time event, I can be cool, then come back if I'm into it.

I also met someone who has a friend that is a comedy booking agent... Am I ready for this step at all? No way in hell. But he's passed along her info, and I'm going to reach out and ask... Questions about the scene, what could make me stand out, any opportunities for just beginning comics, or great classes.

I also may or may not be going on a date tonight... To a punk concert, which is NOT my usual scene for two reasons:
A. I do not love loud noises of any genre.
B. my varied and emotive facial expressions fit right in at a Hillary Duff concert circa 2005 (also when I peaked), but not where resting bitch face is du jour. Even though I have a GREAT body suit and jeans picked out, the dorky mug below is a dead giveaway that I am a secret loser who listens to the Eagles on the reg. 

Proof: People laugh at me because I'm a gross human being, which is ultimately my goal.

Proof: People laugh at me because I'm a gross human being, which is ultimately my goal.

I'm guessing these are all common concerns when you move to a new place. It's not something I've done too often, so I can't be sure. One thing I'm pretty sure is that people are for the most part the same, and yet infinitesimally different, everywhere you go. Some subjects that everyone has an opinion on:

  1. Pickles. Do you like them or not? If so, what's your favorite kind? If not, why are you on this planet, alien scum?
  2. Kanye West: this one does apply to all ages, because older folks either get mad or want me to explain EXACTLY what is going on with Kanye, Kim and Taylor. I could also be assuming that they want these things explained, and my anxiety being through the roof could actually be with good reason. 
  3. Politics. Duh. This is also now okay to discuss because unless you are driving through the middle of the country or at a Klan rally, almost everyone is going to have varying levels of the same opinion: EFF NO, DONALD TRUMP. 
  4. Good restaurants/hangouts. This one really only applies if you have just moved. However, if you have not moved, you could also pretend to have woken up from a coma or have short term memory, or just be very bored with your regular hangouts. 
  5. Aliens. Do you believe in them? Do you think Sigourney Weaver was hot in the movie Alien? Did you watch the X Files? Do you think Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny slept together in real life? The truth is out there.

A list of these strange topics, as off-color as they may seem, grounds me in the fact that I can successfully sustain some sort of conversation, maybe even be good at it. When I first announced my move, a few folks said that I would be with 'my people.' I have been immensely grateful to already find some of my people: they are the ones who helped me pack up my apartment, sell all my shit (HOLLA MORGAN LAMBERT), wish me off with a party on their own birthday (LOOKING AT YOU, CHLOE LANE BIRKENTHAL) and drive over 40 hours to get me safely to my destination (THE INDOMINABLE LUKE HOWE). I'm so grateful and excited to add to this network of amazing friends and confidants, to learn about completely different people and to come into my own even more.