This morning I remembered that eight years ago today was my first full day in Montana. I moved there after graduate school to find myself. I found myself seriously underemployed as an at-home tutor for kids suspended from school or recovering from illness and as the night auditor for a haunted Ramada. One month I actually made $700. Beautiful country, northwest Montana. I miss that immensely. I miss the intense blueness of the Rockies, and the milky green of the rivers. I miss the trees. I miss some of the people. I do not, however, miss all the typing tests. I had a master’s degree, not to mention relevant work experience and excellent computer skills, and no one wanted me because I only type seventy-five words per minute.
A few months later, fed up with my prospects, I rode “back east” on a Greyhound bus, fending off an annoying little man from Kentucky (he pronounced it “Kin-tuck”) who tried to feel me up every time I dozed off. Between that and his rack of animal horns falling off the baggage rack and stabbing me in the head every few seconds, I felt I had a case of justifiable homicide. Some other kid was chasing Black Velvet with orange juice most of the drive through every godforsaken town in North Dakota. The driver left him, covered in his own vomit, in Fargo, North Dakota. The other passengers cheered as we left the station and crossed over into Minnesota.
The next day, another bus driver nearly left all of us at the bus depot in Toledo, Ohio, because she didn’t bother to tell us about the time change. In Buffalo, a woman got on the bus at 6:00 AM and started to chit-chat with me. Exhausted, fed-up, and cranky as Satan with PMS, I said, “I’m sorry, but I really don’t care about you or whatever babble you are going on about. Shut up, please.”
Her expression was priceless. I rode the rest of the way in silence. Never in my whole life have I been so happy to see Boston.