So. This is one hell of a return, but I have to vent somewhere and the one thing I've always kept in mind about hubski is that I can have a goddamn intelligent conversation.
For those who don't know, I moved the summer of 2013 to Ohio because in doing so my parents were able to get me in to a better school for cheaper. I thought to myself, sure, it'll be a change, but I'll get to meet new people, I'll get to see a new part of American culture, whatever. Then my penis said that there would be ladies there looking for a man. Hey, whatever, it's free school I can internally justify it how I want.
I've now lived here for over 6 months. Maybe over 7. And you know what? Fuck it. Fuck the whole state, fuck the region I'm in, fuck everyone here, fuck the shitty roads and the asshole cops and the shitty suburban malls, fuck the chain fastfood joints and the soccer moms and the cookie cutter neighborhoods, fuck the family values, fuck your shitty movie theater, fuck your universities, fuck your sports teams, fuck your shitty off brand "Naty" beer, fuck your flannel jackets, fuck the midwest.
I can't stand it. I set foot on the goddamn ground and my body shriveled in disgust. Oh, this isn't a revelation to me, this is just all the built up shit in my veins from MONTHS of tolerating this garbage, but I knew, oh god I knew. I walked off the plane, luggage in hand, and on the wall the advertisement was for a military weapons research program. Defense contractors. Shit, when I left Philly's airport I got advertisements for art museums, opera houses, theater productions. So I knew from the goddamn minute that I set foot on the flattest fucking place on earth that all of the joy I got out of everyday life was dead, but I didn't know how thoroughly that would happen.
I took a semester off school, and got my bearings while working at Starbucks. That's when I started to realize.
Coworkers are special creatures. Very special. They're canaries in a coal mine for the community, especially when you're new to the area. Back at my old store, the people were nice. Loud, but polite enough and kept the bullshit off the floor. If there was a fight, it happened in the back. It was loud there, but it happened in the back. Jokes were off color and we would've been fucking fired from any other company and any other store, especially since after an especially rough day we could just pop over to the bar and just get pissed as all hell before heading home.
Here? Shit. Everyone is "nice." Everyone is kind. And polite. And agreeable. And fucking, utterly, boring. I can't even give examples. The conversations are just so goddamn forgettable, the jokes that were made were just...there. They had set ups and punchlines but nothing sharp, no spark, no edge.
And that's the whole goddamn area. There's no edge to all of this shit. It's flat. Flattest fucking place on the planet, flattest fucking people on the planet. I see all of these goddamn conversations around me and I've already established them in to three groups, and it all fits there. You either talk about Television, Relationships, or the Weather, and when you're talking about Television you say how great/bad the sports game was or how hilarious that one show is. Fuck. TELL ME WHY. TELL ME YOUR GODDAMN OPINION BEYOND THE SURFACE.
No, I promise, I get that people have interests that are different than mine, I really do. Sports I'm sure are incredibly complicated, but for the love of god not every conversation needs to be about it. Conversations can be wonderful, beautiful creatures, full of depth and insight even about the most banal shit in the world. I have great memories of those shitty conversations about nothing. Or just getting way to drunk and watching "The Thing" and having to explain to my friend that it's not a fucking yeti. Here? Nothing.
And I absolutely can't stand it. But I can't scream at them because if I did they'd either lynch me or start crying. So hubski gets to hear me yell tonight.
Also the food is fucking dogshit.
Welcome back, brosif. Missed you, dawg.
Ready to listen?
1) You can do a limited deployment anywhere for any amount of time so long as it's limited. Got an email today from a guy who just finished 37 months in a federal pen. You're doing better than that. You've got your sunset - buy a goddamn calendar and start marking off numbers. It's power.
2) They don't all suck. Four of my best friends are all Ohio refugees. One of them's from Dayton. Three are from Cleveland. This implies that prior to their escape, they were awesome people in Ohio. Now - I don't know anybody there currently and as I said, the people I like rarely go back to visit, but they gotta exist.
3) Channel your inner anthropologist. There will come a time when Ohio has been in your rearview for many years. You will meet someone at a party who shall say something disparaging about Ohio. In order to bond with them, you must be educated about specific, terrible things about Ohio. Take notes. Write your diatribes down. Internalize them. Know the reasons why you hate Ohio and be ready to count them off. I once wrote bad stream-of-consciousness poetry about how much Las Vegas sucks. I still have it. It has made Vegas a tolerable thing for me, for I know its transgressions.
4) Enjoy the simple things. No matter where you are, no matter what you're doing, there's some aspect of it that is not completely terrible. The car museum at the top of the Imperial Palace, for example (before they sold it off). there's an incredible gem store in Albuquerque. The best stuffed sopaipilla I've ever had was in Show Low, AZ. I do not know what it is, but i know for a certainty there is a business, a meal, a park, a something wherever you are that isn't unredeemably bad. Find it. Cultivate it. Cherish it. Take pleasure in that one thing that isn't horrible about where you are. It will give you something to miss.
For you will leave. And your life will roll on. And this chapter shall close, and another shall open, and listen close here son because I'm talking right the fuck to you:
When I finally made it out of New Mexico after five years of trying, I spent a good year and a half occasionally weeping out loud at the incredible fortune of NOT BEING THERE. I knew what song I would play when I arrived, I knew what food I would eat, I knew which sunset I would watch. And I'm here to tell you - there is no exhultance like the exhultance of ESCAPE.
Keep calm, carry on. This too shall pass.