So I told you that I wanted to relate my stories from my morning and afternoon commutes on the Max, so here is one from Wednesday morning's commute, Meet Jentri'...
"Is that book good," a young man asks me as he stumbles to the seat in front of me on the moving Max train. "Yeah I really like it so far, I got hooked after I saw the movie," I respond pleasantly as I look up from my book (The Hunger Games). I try to go back to reading but this young man wants to know where I am headed. I suspect his chatty mood has something to do with the alcohol I can smell on his breath, and I give up hope for completion of that chapter. "You going to school?"
"Yes, I'm on my way to class."
"Where do you go to school?"
"I'm at PSU, you going to school?"
" Yeah, I'm just at PCC right now, working on my associate's degree. Stanford wants me to come play golf for them, but (he started slurring words right here so I wasn't completely sure what he was saying, but I nodded respectfully) I hate golf. I love to surf, and just because they want to offer me a scholarship doesn't mean I should go there. You should do what you love to do. My name is Jentri', what is your name?"
"Jentri' as in Montgomery Gentry? (He didn't like this, started shaking his head rapidly back and forth) Do you get that alot?"
"I get that all the time, and no my name is French, and is spelled Jentri', with an accent above the 'i'."
"Oh, sorry I'm a country girl, it was just the first thing I thought of, my name is Katie."
"You have really round blue eyes, and a pretty smile too."
I uncomfortably start shifting my weight and look down immediately, "oh.. thanks, yeah I do have really large eyeballs." (why do I say awkward things like that?)
Jentri' could tell I was uncomfortable and preceded to say, "I'm not hittin' on you or anything."
"Oh no of course not, I just... well thanks. So if you are a surfer, what are you doing in Oregon?" I ask him with a quizzical look on my face.
"My daughter is here. I would never leave her, but I'm about to get full custody so I will probably move to California, and if her mom wants to see her, she can move there too."
"Oh ok, gotcha, what's your daughter's name?"
"That's really pretty."
"Yeah in about a month we will have another little girl, and we are fighting on the name, it will either be Payton, or Isabella. But I love Payton. Like the little girl from the movie with the The Rock in it."
"Or you can go with Bella, and it will be like Twilight." (Poor choice on my part to say that, apparently Twilight is not cool... news to me).
In the remainder of our commute, Jentri' talked to me about wanting to open up a sort of safe house, where kids can come to that need help with getting off drugs and alcohol. As nice as that sounds, I had to question this in my mind between the alcoholic breath he possessed and the slurring of his words he managed out made it hard for me to take him seriously. Jentri' also talked about how the alcohol in Portland is for "sissy's" and how in France the alcohol is extremely better, and how French people live longer because of it. All of this may be true, but for some reason he is not perhaps the most convincing person I have ever met. Jentri' is a young man, with a lot of facial piercings, a lot of tattoos, a kind smile, a father of soon to be two daughters, who is good at golf, wants to help kids, and is working towards his associate's degree at PCC. He probably would have shared his life with whomever was sitting in front of him, however yesterday, that person was me. If you ever come across a man named Jentri', don't make the mistake I did in assuming he was named after the country singing duo, he won't like it much.
Cheers to you Jentri'