It’s a weird thing, believing you might’ve sat next to Odin on the train and spoke with him for the better part of 3 hours.
He told me his life story, offered me a swig of Fireball whiskey before downing the entire bottle himself as he talked. He only excused himself once – and that was to go have a toke in the bathroom stall downstairs. He was a wandering sort of fellow. Homeless for a little while after having spent a spell in jail. He told me about a woman he fell in love with once in Arizona who drank antifreeze and could dance like it was going out of style. He was flirtatious but not uncomfortably so. He told me about getting his jaw wired shut after being cracked with a set of brass knuckles in a one-sided fight. He told me he was an arborist by trade; he fell once, head first from 40 feet in the air, and landed on his feet. He showed me the tattoo on his back to prove it: a great big tree with the words “live to climb” underneath it.
His name was Sydney. Before he got off the train in Portland, he gave me a joint, a hug, and a little coin with a hole the shape of an angel cut out of the middle, and told me not to forget him.