Strangers on the Bus
I admire people who can chat up strangers; I am not one of them. No, I am abysmally awkward around strangers. I cannot connect on the weather, sports, or hangin out in hot tubs. I suppose, when it comes to social interaction, I want the forest, but can't stand all the damn trees. You, kid, scarcely 20, who tried to chat me up on the bus, have tossed me into a whirlwind of inadequacy. And you just wanted to hang out, you know, just as, like, friends. Dammit.
I'm not sure why I'm saying all this here and now, suffice to say the internet has become a virtual bus, as well (which was not always so.)
So, hello, stranger. How's the weather where you are? I am here, in Summit County, Colorado, where this morning I woke to snow dusting my deck. Welcome to the high country, they say. Well, you kind of have to be a little high to live here for any extended period of time. It's the thin air, the dry climate, the feeling of being in a massive, alien environment - either funneled into valleys or exposed on mountainsides. I feel isolated, but brave. Illinois is a comparative swamp, humid and teeming with every imaginable creature. Here, life has to be big to subsist. I have tried to find little things of little account, such that I was able to find so easily back in the midwest and have really found only big. Lots of big. Which makes it difficult to write poems. I realize, I need to start small with my literary endeavors and having the small quashed in my environment has stymied my ability to write much of anything.
I have learned to ski, have hiked 14ers, bike 14 miles to work (on days without snow), play music. But I often fear that I have turned my back on writing and that those friends who write have moved on and forgotten about me, if I was ever really there in the first place (debatable.) Still, changes are afoot. Good ones that will bring me to a different place (down the hill towards Denver come August) and hopefully a different mindset. I cannot wait until I can hold my little chapbook in my hands and have a tangible reminder that, yes, I am poet. I am poet and, yes, socially awkward is its own adjacent milieu.