Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam
2008-08-07 11:15:12 ET

I got back from Montana. We took a bus to Spokane, and then his dad drove us the rest of the way. That Greyhound station always looked kind of sketchy to me from the outside, and inside, it's kind of a dump, with a pho restaurant attached.

It was nice; it's always nice to go to a different place. It's dry, hot, and dusty. I almost went mad with the heat sometimes. It's so much quieter than here. A lot of bear-, moose-, buffalo-, huckleberry-, cowboy-, Western Frontier-, and Native American-themed things. People there seem to be kind of slower, more easygoing, a little nicer, to me, I guess. Less of that clipped, professional, outgoing manner thing. And it's just one of those obscure states that nobody knows anything about, and where, supposedly, "nothing is," second only to Wyoming. And all the kids who live there either want to get out as soon as they can or die there. (They complain about a lack of culture or excitement or something.) I think it's funny how people assume that living in a different place will make your life better, or that any place is different really. There are a lot of old people there; like, actually proportionate to the population. Is it a place you go to die or something? When I think of Montana, I just think of horses freely roaming across the sorrowful, brazen plain in all their unbridled majesty or something. Not so. There were some horses in a dismal dry dusty bumpy yellow little plot next to Nick's house, and there were always a couple that were lying hot like dead on their sides, always exactly in the same position, it seemed. They're probably there still. Of course, the scenery is not much compared to Western Washington's. Oh, the trees and greenery. I practically fell in love with it the moment I saw it, aesthetically speaking. I think it helped me feel less depressed when I moved here. It's hard to feel so hollowed-out when you go out and are surrounded by a landscape like that.

We went on a tour of the old Governor's Mansion, which was pretty cool. There are a lot of kind of neat-looking old houses in that area. We went up Reeder's Alley (just a preserved old little frontier-town area from the 1800s). I wanted to see a production of The Secret Garden at the Grandstreet Theatre, but we never did. We went boating, hung out with some of his friends, and I ate some Dippin' Dots (!). It sucked that I got a really bad bladder infection about halfway through and didn't feel that well for a while. I almost cried in the store at one point because it was taking so long for them to fill out my prescription - not really just because of the physical discomfort but because of the emotional stress. My poor little Lisa-body.

I dreamed that I had a murderer, a man that was somehow a sort of little strange-looking mouse-like creature, all visceral in a way. And, though it was kind of against me, I kept stabbing him/it with pins or something, all over, over and over, in all kinds of places on his strange little body, where it bled, and he was pained but never died. He would just shiver alive again. Never quite dead. Strange and kind of mangled, never uttering a sound, moving slightly, almost gently, as if just sighing at his wounds or something. (His body just sighed and turned over and stirred at his wounds). I wanted to make sure, to know he was dead. A little emotional as I did it (like, why did it keep making me keep doing it?). (Punishment, punishment.) It was kind of against me, to do that to him. And this police investigator or someone, a woman, was coming to me and asking me about it. Did she suspect my heart? And I was kind of squirming, trying to hide the thing behind my back or something, to not let her know, because it was against even me, and I bit my lip, about to cry.

We went to Yellowstone Park. I felt pretty bad in the early morning, and kept thinking I probably shouldn't even go, while I was sick. I didn't enjoy it enough; I suffered too much. It was sometimes tinged with a melancholy, and hinted at the psychosomatic depression of previous summers. Such an incredible kind of depression. The best thing about it was the water, which I loved, the little streams and rivers. And I've seen this throughout Montana. They're just so pure-looking, moving between those clean, green sides carved around them, with that unnatural nature-silence. I just totally wanted to throw myself in it, be absorbed by it; that impulsive and somehow impossible feeling of wanting to be immersed in it, part of it, soaking it in, the calm and cool and moving blue. I also liked a waterfall, the place before the fall, fluid motion. I wasn't so interested in seeing all the geysers and "sights" (I kind of just wanted to lie back in the water, to be in the water, and play in it, alone with Nick, and be happy) and going around to see everything, and was annoyed by the tourist areas, swarming with stupid, annoying, fat, unattractive, repulsive (yes, I am so pettily unkind sometimes) strangers, and gross fast food. I got kind of tired of hearty, all-American food during the trip. Isn't there something a little more subtle, something between "American" and their parody of "Chinese," "Thai," "Continental," etc.? I think buffalo are more interesting than bears or elk seen at a distance, trying to get a glimpse of them through binoculars, effort, etc. Everybody was trying to see the bears, and not the buffalo right next to them and all around. They're sort of silly-, melancholy-, yet empty-, old-, worn-out-looking animals.

Lately I've been thinking about what I really want to do, kind of small things in my scheme and nebulous mind, about what/how I want to eat, if I want to have a child (I'm almost absolutely certain I would never really want to have one physically; I don't want to put my body through all that; it is unnatural to me)... I've always kind of not cared about what happens to me, in my life. It's always just been the mental life. The outside seems almost incidental. Because the pressure outside was too great, the esteem too low, it all just totally inverted itself, so that now it reflects only inward. As far as I'm concerned, in my mind, I've lived every kind of life I wanted. (Isn't that enough? That I will always be me.) And there is no perfection. Nothing would ever content me, anyway. I am still fully convinced that the world isn't good enough for me (that doesn't mean exactly what it sounds like); no kind of life would ever be good enough. But I'm, I, who have never pursued anything in a lifetime, realizing more that soon I won't be young anymore and, doesn't it still matter, what happens?; that all those things I missed in high school, I will never experience and have experienced. Those experiences to form my inner turnings about. So what do I want to do? What can I do? Does it really matter? But we try to approach happiness as nearly as we can. We never really do all we can. And does it really matter?

We walked and got lost around a tiny lake in the town, on this misleading trail that was really clean and trim at first, stroll-like, but then branched off into these little difficult maze-like paths with gray thorny branches arched curving over us that kept leading back to the edge of the lake (it was kind of spread out in pools with little island-type areas). It was nice, like being in a secret garden or something. At one point we met a smiling young ranger trying to find her way through the branches and maze, making her way as we were, to some people she wanted to talk to, whom my whimsy fancied was like a ghost eternally lost and trying to find her way, cheerful, good-natured, unaware of horror, asking people about her way, and dubbed the Lost Ranger. I got a piggyback ride through the mud on Nick, with me squealing like an animated pig.

2008-08-19 15:38:55 ET

i think you are a neat writer. you use punctuation in ways i can only dream of.

2008-08-22 17:08:35 ET

Thanks, Carina! I try.

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