Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Spooning with the Ghost of Upton Sinclair

As all of us with an avidity for literature can attest to, there come times when we can't help but feel an ethereal bond when we find ourselves in close proximity to someplace a literary luminary has once tread.  Some flock to Dublin for Bloomsday, others make the trek to Tintern Abbey or Mont Blanc, but still others chance upon greatness unbeknownst to them.  Here is once such case of the latter.  This anonymous anecdote was sent to us by one of our own fine graduate students about a "connection" with one of the American literary giants:    
This past Spring Break my friend Dustin and I decided to get out of town and fly up to Portland. I had been before but had never spent much time there. He had visited on several occasions and had fallen in love with it. We had a place to stay with a good friend of his named Nick who works there managing a vegan food restaurant. Being a lover of nature, good food, good people and travel, Portland seemed like the perfect vacation.
Nick lives in an old Victorian style house that has been converted into four different apartments. Nick lives on the bottom floor in a cozy two-bedroom space with a roommate named Molly. Molly was out of town, however, visiting some family, so my friend and I took turns sleeping on her bed while the other slept on the couch in the living room.
Nick and his girlfriend Annie—who lives in the apartment across the hall—were gracious hosts to us, taking us to the best restaurants, coffee shops and other such attractions. During our stay a friend of Annie’s came to town from Astoria to celebrate her birthday. I was introduced to said friend and I guess you could say that the two of us hit it off.
The night before Dustin and I left for San Diego, Nick and Annie had a little get together in Nick’s apartment with their housemates and some other friends. When the night came to an end—it being my turn to sleep on Molly’s bed—I asked the birthday girl if she’d like to join me, since she was going to be staying the night with several others in Annie’s crowded apartment.
Being two mature adults, sharing a bed together, one thing naturally led to another. Suffice to say we had a fun night. A happy ending to an all-around spectacular trip.
The trip was so fun, in fact, that Dustin and I decided to take a road trip up to Portland in June when school had let out for the summer. I had the opportunity this time around to meet the delightful Molly and our trip was even better than the last.
On our final night, the summer solstice, the housemates got together and cooked a massive, hedonistic feast of crab, lamb, pie and other tasty culinary items. As the night wound down, Nick and I got into a conversation about literature, he not having previously known what a lover of literature I am.
“Did Molly ever tell you that her grandmother was somewhat of a literary celebrity?” he asked. “She used to frequent some popular literary circles in the 50s and 60s. In fact, Molly’s bed used to belong to Upton Sinclair.”

If you'd care to share a similar story, or feel like you can top this one, feel free to send it our way so you can gloat with glee.

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