I Am In Here
March 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’m living in Klamath Falls, Oregon for a while, because of my day job. It is a struggle. I left the cabin because I was getting intolerably lonely, and then I got a small taste of society, the society I learned this winter that I cannot do without, only to now find myself in another very lonely situation, again on a lake, only this time in the high desert instead of the prairie.
Small towns, and I’ve lived in many at this point, make me anxious. I have come to realize this. There are a lot of reasons for it: lack of proximity to a major hospital, fear that you will see someone you know everywhere you go, inability to access certain comforts of the over-privileged urbanite like art films and natural deodorant. There is no place to hide – no buildings to hide behind, crowds to hide in, dark bars where you know that no one will recognize or remember you. No proximity to the going out crowd, which for an introvert like myself sometimes strangely gives me courage.
Small towns are worse than no towns. In no towns, you enter into a survivalist state, you learn to think about the weather in non-language, you sort of surge forth. But in a small town, I seem only to yawn unceasingly and yearn for the sound of traffic so my limbic system doesn’t gather dust.
I know why many people, about half actually, choose this life, the small town life. I grew up with them. I get it, and I certainly don’t disparage it. The pace, the lack of commuting, the feeling of being an integral part of something and not just an anonymous cog. But when I look out my window all I see is a little valley of desperation surrounded by mountains like walls, and I long to be an anonymous cog somewhere in a matrix of concrete columns and rows and taps.
You might think life too short, but for a sad and lonesome person in a small town, life feels unbearably long.