I think people from North Dakota like to mess with people from other places. I guess I would too, if I had grown up here. I mean, what do you say when anywhere is a thousand miles away? “Hey, I’m from Grand Forks. We have stuff to do here, like … a couple of bars! A club!”
People are probably sick of hearing me talk about New York and Boston. So they say things like, “You were lucky that you’re out here on such a warm winter.” They always say stuff like that on a day like today, when the there’s snow coming down and when you step outside you get hit by a blast of wind and a stick of ice crystals in your face. I mean, jeez, it’s the beginning of May and it looks as barren as March. Nothing’s blooming, there’s nothing green on the trees. You drive through the streets of this little town and it’s all brown and dirty and rundown. I know people here think it’s a “city” because it has the University of North Dakota in it, and it seems bigger than all these little towns around here, like Jericho or Langdon or Grafton, which are really like dots on a map. But I’m sorry, it’s May and you can just see how brown and dead everything is.
I called that girl I met the other night who’s a student. I think she said she’s studying engineering. She’s from one of those little towns in the middle of the state no one has heard of. I said, “I know a lot of little towns now, but that one’s not on my beat.” I called to see if she wanted to have a drink. I said, “Hi, do you remember me from the other night? It’s Wednesday and it’s snowing and it’s depressing and I’d like to cheer you up and buy you a drink.” I thought I was being nice, offering to buy. She said something about finals and being busy and got off the phone as fast as she could. I thought we had connected when we met on Saturday. Maybe not. I don’t seem to understand anything around here.
I’m glad I sent those new resumes out. Even though I had a fierce headache on Sunday, I got together seven or eight new resumes and cover letters to some open jobs in other parts of the country. I’d still like to get back to a major market, a big city daily. But today, with the wind blowing hard again and snow in it, I was thinking that Mobile, Alabama or Durham, North Carolina or San Marcos, Texas — where even in the hell is that? — sounded pretty good. Somewhere where at least by the end of April they manage to get Spring together, and they have more than a couple bars and one club.