Portland IV: The Landor

The Landor was a cramped, roach-infested, one-bedroom, no-bathroom apartment that I moved into with my classmate, Sarah Gomez after I left The Fuse in the spring of 1991. It was only one block from school, which rocked. At the same time it made no difference, because it was summer break.

The Landor was a gas. Party central. However, unlike the soulless, ongoing grind at the Hell Cows house, where I didn’t know or care about most of the random dirt-bags I was getting shitfaced with, or the Fuse, where everyone was cool and detached and sequestered in their studios, at the Landor I was surrounded by creative, good-hearted friends from school and from The Heathman, where Sarah and I both worked. Wendy and Qirk and Ciera and Perry would come over. Troy and Lena and the guys from Tao Jones would show up. Mick and Vance, the two gayest straight guys ever, would pop in from across the hall. It was like a sit-com.

We shared the hall bathroom with Mick and Vance. By “shared” I mean we could use the facilities, but we had to bring our own toiletries each time; the whole bathroom was jam packed with their cosmetics. Mick and Vance worked at The Heathman too. Nice guys, but way too buff and tan. I could never stop picturing them in nothing but a bow tie and g-string. Not that there’s anything wrong with that and all.

We hung out with our friends, drinking and smoking and having interesting, weird conversations in the front room, which was Sarah’s bedroom. She said she didn’t mind, and let me have the real bedroom in the back. People almost never hung out there, even when we were having one of our big, pot brownie-based dinner parties, and that suited me just fine.

I got Ciera in there one time, alone. Or she got me. Man, I had a crush on her! I just could not make a move though. I think she knew and felt sorry for me, maybe. At any rate, we were back there talking while everyone else was carousing out front, and then there was “the pause”. And I froze. I did nothing, like a dummy, so she reached up and gave me a peck on the lips. That would have been a fine time to reciprocate and see where things went, but again, like a dummy I did nothing. Just blurted out, Thanks, or something. And that effectively closed the door on my chances with Ciera. We stayed friends after that.

There was a lot of giddiness about women back then. A lot of missed opportunities. I tried not to dwell on it and just have a good time, and The Landor in the summer of ’91 helped with that immensely.

Eventually though, Sarah had had her fill. A few weeks into our sophomore year she said she needed “some space”, and I knew she meant that back room. I graciously moved out of The Landor and into my very own place over in Northwest. The nice part of town.

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