Friday. On my last night in Portland Ethan picks me up in Jana’s car and we drive out to the Korean place on Powell. It’s quiet on the ride there and I watch the darkened houses pass and the wipers beating back the flurries of snow. All the old familiar shops and bars on Foster, Christmas lights in the window, dark and twinkling. The discount art supply store, the post office, Devil’s Point (a girl out front with bare legs in a fur coat, holding the coat closed, smoking with the bouncer). I tell myself it’s the last time I’ll see these places. It’s not. But it’s the last time like this.
“Yeah, one last look.”
“Right. Well, take one last look at Sorabol because we’re about to eat one hell of a last supper.”
“Sign me up.”
“I’ll tell you what,” he says.
“I’ll tell you what,” I say and we laugh.
Ethan’s a good guy for a bad mood. He doesn’t put up with it. He makes you push through; makes you get over it for his sake and yours. Ethan’s the kind of guy the world wants to succeed. Being around him you feel that way about yourself; that people are rooting for you; that you’re on the right team.
(Excerpt from The Growling Mouth by Adam Gnade. Available here.)