I wake up in my log cabin. The first thing I do is pop outside to forage for some breakfast mushrooms. Once I’ve got a good handful, I roast them over the seven-foot-tall bong that doubles as my stove. It’s going to be a great day!
I slip out of my tie-dye pajamas and put on my Timberland hiking boots, cargo pants, beanie, and most professional rain slicker. I pour myself a cup of coffee—the beans were hand-roasted in Portland and cost $26 per ounce—and take it to go in my Hydro Flask, which is covered in recycle symbol stickers. I stuff the utility pockets of my pants with homemade granola, take a final puff of weed off the stove, climb into my Subaru, and drive off through the burning forest to work. It’s hard to leave my rescued pitbull-pug mix, Marcus Mariota, but I know he’ll keep himself occupied with the handwoven hemp dog toys I got at the Saturday Market.
I live and work in Portland, the only habitable city in the entire state. Portland is located somewhere in the middle of Oregon. It’s also our state capital, houses the University of Oregon’s nationally recognized football program, and has a population of anywhere from thirty thousand to two million people. From my office, I can see Canada and California at the same time.
I work for a company that makes beer taste like pine needles that have been soaking in a vat of apple cider vinegar for thirty years. Our logo is a Sasquatch wearing a trucker hat. I make $40,000 per year, but fortunately, Portland is super affordable probably.
On my lunch break, my coworkers and I swap stories about the biggest blisters we ever got while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. My coworker Sunshine is kind enough to share her bag of organic bark mulch with me, as I accidentally left my alfalfa sprout and tempeh wrap at home. I feed my pocket granola to some feral beavers in the parking lot.
After a long, hard day of ruining beer, I decide to go out for a night on the town. I run home to change into my sexiest North Face rain-slicking shift dress, dress beanie, and high-heeled Timberland boots. In addition to all of my surroundings being on fire, there is now a torrential downpour. I pat Marcus Mariota on the head and stoke my ever-burning weed fire to make sure it never goes out. Since I’ve already done enough damage to the environment today, I ditch my Subaru for my fixed-gear bike.
I wave hey to Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein when I get to my favorite bar, Crunchy’s. We grab a rancid pine-needle IPA and I tell them about an ex-coworker who admitted he didn’t like hiking, so the rest of the office beat him to death with our CamelBak water bottles. We laugh until we cry, compliment each other’s beanies, and then part ways.
My favorite local band is playing Crunchy’s tonight: Ceci N’est Pas Une Hipsters. They’re a four-piece, harmonica/accordion ska band whose lead singer is a thirty-year-old white guy with dreadlocks named AJ. Most of their songs are about hating everyone from California, but they have a soulful ballad about being in a polyamorous relationship with three smokin’ hot female Bigfoots that brings a tear to my eye every time. After they finish their set, the audience throws celebratory pocket granola at them. I head over to the merch table to buy a beanie.
Unfortunately, at this point, my dress hiking boots are really killing me, so I stay for only four more IPAs before it’s time to pedal home. I’m ready to relax on the couch with Marcus Mariota. Maybe I’ll even feed him some of the dried sweet potato and vegan venison treats I keep for special occasions. (To clarify, they’re my treats; Marcus Mariota just gets some when he’s been a good boy.)
Tomorrow will be a long day: A seven-hour hike, then a four-hour kayak, then my evening hot yoga class, followed by my manifestation drum circle. (We will get Bernie Sanders to move here once we figure out the right crystal combination!) After one last long inhale on my bong/stove, it’s time for bed. I just hope I don’t have that nightmare about having to pay sales tax again.
On our Patreon page: An interview with Oregonian Gracie Beaver-Kairis about writing this piece and the reader response to it.