The tequila odyssey

By NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  February 20, 2014

5. Aeolus, Master of Winds
Fleeing Polyphemus and fed up with the wrath of Poseidon, Odysseus sought the help of Aeolus, master of winds. For this, we had one logical option: the newly revamped bar at the Top of the East. Half our crew climbed into Wombcastle’s vessel and headed north to the Westin Portland Harborview tower. In the story, Odysseus asked Aeolus to capture the seas’ errant winds in a bag so that Odysseus could sail back to Ithaca smoothly. (Of course, his journey was extended when his crew mistook the bag’s contents for riches.) Joined by two more crew members, Ed the Hugehearted and Dana the Fearless, we walked through the marble concourse toward the elevator, wherein we encountered an intoxicated businessman loudly blustering to his associates. Was this Aeolus? If so, he wasn’t much help. From the Top of the East, you could see almost anywhere in Portland, and while it’s a comfortable, off-the-radar place to hang out, we could see how Odysseus’ men would got confused. Ascend to the top of any tower, especially one as newly ivoried as this, and you’re bound to find a lot of windbags. I cannot account for my crew, but the kind, excellent server brought me a Golden Paloma, a $13 cocktail of silver 1800 tequila, red grapefruit juice, fresh lime, agave, and soda. Despite the chaos, I could have kicked back and watched the Olympics here for awhile, but it was nearing 10 o’clock, and we had seven stops to go before Ithaca. We plunged back into the night.


Illustration by Patrick Corrigan

6. The Laestrygonians
Had my crew been on the same one-drink-per-island course as Odysseus, I would have prevented Wombcastle from steering his vessel, but alas, my helmsman was in sound spirits. We sailed smoothly in search of the Laestrygonians, the enormous, carnivorous men who reside near the rocky shores of Lamos. In Portland terms, we looked no farther than Amigo’s, the raucous Mexican-inspired dive bar whose cobblestone pathway has felled many a sailor o’er the years. Had they hurled boulders at Odysseus on this night, or even challenged him to a game of pool, he might not have had the wits to survive. But lo, the men were docile at this hour, which allowed us to change our guard to accommodate Andrew the Mage, who came via longship with a fleece of wool (to help buffer Odysseus against Poseidon’s fierce gusts) — and more importantly, total sobriety, which would prove crucial navigating the seas ahead. We swatted past the lumbering, tattooed giants in search of our bartender (ironically a demure young woman), who lined up five small glasses of Hornitos reposado. We would lose two of our crew here, Lisa and Robert, but were ultimately thankful the Laestrygonians weren’t in more of a fighting mood. Not wanting to chance our luck on the spacious back patio, we paid for our drinks, tipping handsomely, and left.

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