To the Drama Queen in Room 218

Portland, Oregon
by M. Scott Douglass

First: Happy Birthday!
Everyone needs a raucous celebration
every three hundred and sixty-five days
to help them feel alive. It was only my
misfortune that you chose to party
in the room adjacent to mine. I hope
this one was as memorable for you
as it was for me. After all,
since I live in a house I’m not
accustomed to dormitory behavior.
Yes, we occasionally slam doors,
but rarely at 3 a.m. And that cackle
of yours, someone should patent it
for fire alarms. I’ll bet your friends
entertain themselves trying to mimic it.
I’m sorry that your boyfriend thought
you were being childish and said so
in front of others, then left
without permission. Broken glasses
are one thing, but when light fixtures
start tumbling through the air, it’s time
to cut your losses. He was probably
cutting his before the adventure
wound up on his credit card bill.
But you’re probably right: he’ll surely miss
your sexual energy, the wildness of your
needs, your expression of satisfaction
(not everyone can reach that note, you know).
If it’s any consolation, I have several
unmarried friends who are dying
to meet a girl just like you.
I left my number below in case
you are interested. In the meantime,
have you considered a career
in Hollywood? The paparazzi
are crazy for fresh faces to follow.
You’d be a hit in no time.

Comment: We were in Portland, Oregon for a pair of book release parties followed by a rental car tour of the state. While there, we stayed in a hotel in the Lloyd Center, just a few blocks away from one of their entertainment pavillions. You don’t pay a lot of attention to those things or who might be playing while you are visiting when you book hotels. As it turned out, there was a big concert our first night in town. I want to say it was Bryan Adams, but I just don’t remember. Anyway, we were already jet lagged and jazzed up because we’re at the start of an adventure and the first place we went when we hit town was a micro brewery. We were tired and almost asleep when the couple next door returned from the concert with a group of friends at the start of what ended up being an all-night party. It wouldn’t have felt right not to immortalize the moment(s) in a poem.

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