“Hey man, can I bum a smile?”
I looked up. Unaware that I’d been scowling at the train tracks, this shaggy mop topped freak had called me out, and what’s more, he was dead on. I looked at him for a moment, and then smiled. The freak was right, life is always better with a smile. How foolish I’d been to try to frown my way around a city as friendly as Portland. Even the freaks noted an out of towner by his facial expressions.
This flew contrary to everything I’d known about city life.
You don’t want to be hassled? Act tougher than those who might want to hassle you. Wear a frown, keep your shoulders up and your head down, stay alert yet nonchalant.
The freak turned to say something else as he crossed the street, unfortunately he walked straight into an oncoming commuter train bound for Hillsboro. His smiling days were over, I grinned to myself at the absurdity of the scene.