Matty and I have lived far away from everyone we love for years now. Way back around 2008 we were a couple of crazy kids in love when Matty was offered a job in North Dakota working with bison.
He moved to the great empty north around the end of April and called me as soon as he walked into his terrifying apartment. I’m not 100% sure, but I’m fairly certain that the call went something like this:
Me: “Hey Matty! How is it up there?”
Matty: “It fucking sucks here. Will you move with me?”
And that, my friends, is how our life together began. I quit my job at Boone Electric Cooperative and moved to North Dakota on May 8th. I can still remember telling my pop that I was going to move to North Dakota to be with a boy who hadn’t even MENTIONED marriage. Dad wasn’t happy, but he wasn’t going to stop me either so we just sat there in a comfortable silence. I love the comfortable silences between my dad and I… it’s like wrapping yourself in a cuddly blanket that’s made of no expectations. No pressure to be charming or funny or clever. We’re both very happy in the silence sometimes.
But back to the story. We lived in North Dakota between May and September and it wasn’t easy. Neither of us had lived away from family and both of us were pretty homesick. Matty threw himself into his job with the bison and I… well I was a cashier at the local grocery store. It wasn’t that helpful that the people there were freaking weirdos.
I’ll never forget the girl I worked with telling me that high school kids died in car accidents all the time. There was, no shit, not a single curve in the entire state of North Dakota. All the roads were stick straight, and yet these kids couldn’t handle it. Jesus. Of course, this was also the girl who told me she had never left North Dakota.
Crazy say what? I apologize. She was actually super sweet, but very sheltered. People there were simply different, not wrong… just different. Imagine biting into the most beautiful apple in the world and tasting lemons. Not wrong. Just bizarre. You would think I would love that about the state, but you would be wrong. Probably because you’ve never been to North Dakota. Lucky bastard.