I believe it happened when Chris and I were watching something on the Travel Channel about Portland. There was a story about Voodoo doughnuts. As soon as they mentioned bacon maple glazed doughnut, Chris was in. Portland was officially put on our list of places to visit because we might want to live there one day. All because of a doughnut that had a couple of strips of bacon pressed into the maple icing on top. We made our visit to Voodoo on our way out of town to take a day trip to the beach. Chris bought the last bacon maple doughnut the place had and before he took a huge bite out of it, I took a picture. I cannot express to you the level of disgust I have for that doughnut. I could not watch Chris eat it because every time I looked at that doughnut, I gagged. The picture I took also makes me gag. The bacon looks old and shiny with grease and the smell of maple glaze alone will induce diabetes.
I knew that I would be taking some of Chris with me on this trip. I know that my plan is to leave Chris in places we've never been before. When I travel to knew destinations, he's traveling too. Sort of like that. Portland, though. I had to bring Chris to Portland. It was sort of like bringing him home. The problem was, I could not even think of where I was going to leave him. I sent a text to Amy just before leaving asking her if she had any ideas. She replied with two: Voodoo Doughnuts and Powell's Bookstore. Now Powell's was certainly a good idea. It is the biggest used and new bookstore I have ever been in. You could lost wandering through all of the different sections, up and down stairs. We spent hours in that place. But Voodoo Doughnuts? That just seemed like the most perfect place.
The problem was how to go about it. I knew a bacon maple doughnut had to be involved in some way. Timing was also an issue. Voodoo Doughnuts has grown into quite the tourist destination. In fact, I've been told that the locals prefer a different doughnut shop. Voodoo is open twenty four hours a day and the downtown location sits right in tourist row. At any given time of day, there is a line out the door and around the corner. I was not going to be able to leave ashes inside any where. I knew that going in, but I didn't know where I'd be able to leave Chris outside in a way that wouldn't involve too many stares. I had plenty of time to think about it while I waited in line.
In the end, Todd and I decided to leave Chris in one of the flower pots just outside of the building. We placed a bacon maple doughnut in there with him. Todd actually ate a bacon maple doughnut to commemorate the event. He's taken my side, even though he ate the whole thing, and agrees that doughnut is pretty horrible. I know that some homeless person probably snagged that doughnut soon after we left. That almost seems fitting. Chris was the type to buy a dozen doughnuts just to give away.
I did not have the meltdown I had expected in leaving Chris here. Good? Bad? I don't know. It felt right. It felt right leaving some of Chris here in his favorite city. I can't help but wonder if he'd see it as different as I see it today. After we left Chris, Todd and I walked down to a pub to get a beer. As we walked Todd said something about not knowing what to think about any of it. Death is the greatest mystery. When we leave Chris in these places, is he pleased? Or are we just making ourselves feel better? I like to believe it's a little of both, but I've stopped asking those kinds of questions that do not have answers. Instead I just hold onto the truths I already know.