Chuck palahniuk — fugitives & refugees

Fugitives & Refugees

Also by Chuck Palahniuk
Fight Club
Invisible Monsters
Survivor
Choke
Lullaby
Diary

Fugitives & Refugees

A WALK IN PORTLAND, OREGON

Chuck Palahniuk

Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to reprint the following material to:
Anton Pace and Delta Cafe, for the recipes "Fritters," "Fritter Dip," and "Black-Eyed Peas." Reprinted by permission of the Delta Cafe.

Le Happy Bar, Inc., for the recipe "Faux Vegan Crepes." Copyright © 2002 by Le Happy Bar, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Le Happy Bar, Inc.

Michael Cox and Wild Abandon, for the recipe "Dean Blair's hemon-havender Scones." Reprinted by permission of Michael Cox and Wild Abandon.

Copyright © 2003 by Chuck Palahnink
ISBN 1-4000-4783-8

For my grandmother, Ruth Tallent
1920-2002

Contents

Introduction: Unraveling the Fringe
Talk the Talk: A Portland Vocabulary Lesson
(a postcard from 1981)
Quests: Adventures to Hunt Down
(a postcard from 1985)
Chow: Eating Out
(a postcard from 1986)
Haunts: Where to Rub Elbows with the Dead
(a postcard from 1988)
Souvenirs: Where You Have to Shop
(a postcard from 1989)
Unholy Relics: The Strange Museums Not to Miss
(a postcard from 1991)
Getting Off: How to Knock Off a Piece in Portland
(a postcard from 1992)
Nature But Better: Gardens Not to Miss
(a postcard from 1995)
Getting Around: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles to Meet
(a postcard from 1996)
Animal Acts: When You're Sick of People-Watching
(a postcard from 1999)
The Shanghai Tunnels: Go Back in Time by Going Underground
(a postcard from 2000)
Photo Ops: Get Your Picture Snapped at These Landmarks
preserving the fringe (a postcard from 2002)

Fugitives & Refugees

Introduction: Unraveling the Fringe
"Everyone in Portland is living a minimum of three lives," says Katherine Dunn, the author of Geek Love. She says, "Everyone has at least three identities."
She's sitting in the window of her apartment in Northwest Portland, rolling cigarettes and smoking them, her long blond hair parted in the middle and tied back. She's wearing black-framed glasses. The radiators clank and a siren goes by, four stories below on Glisan Street.
"They're a grocery store checker, an archaeologist, and a biker guy," she says. "Or they're a poet, a drag queen, and a bookstore clerk."
Rolling another cigarette, she says, "It's tricky because all the rich people are in disguise. You never know when the scruffy guy across the counter could be someone rich enough to buy the store, chew it up, and spit it out."
Smoking, she says, "The nice little old ladies from the West Hills — with their sweater sets and pearls — they're all rabid advocates of the death penalty."
Those green, wooded hills fill the window behind her.
Art and bookshelves fill the walls. The rooms are painted heavy gem colors of deep red and green. Yellow freesia bloom in a vase on the dining room table. In the kitchen, hanging above the sink, is a framed photograph of Kather-ine's maternal grandmother, Tressie, who cooked for a railroad crew, working her way west through the Dakotas at age eighteen.
Katherine's theory is that everyone looking to make a new life migrates west, across America to the Pacific Ocean. Once there, the cheapest city where they can live is Portland. This gives us the most cracked of the crackpots. The misfits among misfits.
"We just accumulate more and more strange people," she says. "All we are are the fugitives and refugees."