David Emami hated the summer. The winters in Portland, Oregon were rainy, dark, cloudy, and dreary; just the way David liked it. Summers were hot, balmy, and miserable in the Northwest. On one such day, David watched as his cats moped around the house, seemingly dead from heat exhaustion, and decided it was time to get cooled off. David gave his cats a bowl of cold water, then got into his Toyota Previa minivan and headed to the Keller fountains in downtown.
The fountains were always crowded on hot days and consisted of various soaking levels that cascaded from the top down to the bottom, allowing visitors to slip in and soak the day away while kids ran around and jumped from pool to pool. David scoped the area and found a relatively quiet spot with no one in it and quickly claimed it to be his own.
All was peaceful until a filthy homeless man with a large grey beard slipped into the same pool as David and immediately began scrubbing himself with a dirty bar of soap, leaving bubbly suds on the surface of the water that slowly floated toward David.
“Good heavens!” said David. “Do you have to do that in a public fountain?!”
“Where else would I do it? I smell and I needed a bath! This place is as good as any place to do it!”
Some of the dirty bubbles popped on David’s chest hair, and David jumped out as if he had just potentially contracted the plague. “That is foul! What makes you think I would want to soak in your stink?!”
“Your loss man. Nice day to soak. Kids pee in this water all the time, dude. My stink is the least of your worries.”
David felt sick. The homeless man was right. The pool was probably filthy and more than likely contained brain eating amoebas that were entering his bloodstream at that very instant. He quickly ran to his car, sped home as fast as he could, and when he entered his apartment, he quickly disrobed and took a cold shower. He felt like that’s what he should have done all along and avoided the fountains entirely.
David Emami is Alone in Portland is a collection of stories that peer into the life of a middle-aged curmudgeon with a fondness for cats and antiques.
Playfully illustrated with Bitmoji characters, his story comes to life as each day brings a new adventure.
He was obsessive compulsive and mad about antiques. The apartment was covered, top to bottom, in decor that would be more aligned with that of an old woman that peaked in the 1960s. david-emami-takes-on-portland.html
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