Currently sitting at Bob & Edith’s, aka The Greatest Diner on Earth. This is the second time I’ve been here in the last 24 hours. I LOVE this place. This was My Spot back in the good old days before I was forced to move to a small town in the middle of fucking nowhere. You could always find me here, especially on Saturday nights after work. Love, love, love.
It’s worth noting I don’t have any favourite bars in the area because I moved right before my 21st birthday. This has kept me out of trouble in the time I’ve been here. Bloody Mary’s was the first bar I ever went to. Thus, the attachment. You never forget your first time.
Being home has been so good for me. I needed to be here again more than I realized. Every time I leave I feel this intense pain in my heart. I think it’s because I was forced to leave against my will. I wasn’t ready to give it up. Especially not for a place like South Dakota. South Dakota?! South Dakota?! WTF is in South Dakota? Well, I know the answer to that question now. It sucks. Don’t ever go there for any reason. It’s a nightmare on ice. Literally.
I’m leaving today, but not with the same heaviness in my heart. Well, that’s not quite right. I’ve been thinking that I should come back here for awhile before gallabanting off to New Orleans. Just to be somewhere familiar for a bit. The comfort of home is overwhelming right now. The area is thriving and growing. There is no empty retail space. There is life everywhere I go. I just feel so alive when I’m here.
South Dakota is the complete opposite. Empty retail space for miles and miles and miles. People are leaving at increasing rates. Those who do stay are intellectually stunted and ignorant. Most of the people I encounter are stupidly, laughably racist. They make shit up to justify their bullshit beliefs. They love Trump. Half of them are cracked out on meth and/or drunks. The Governor is insane. I just can’t.
At least I can say I tried. I really fucking tried. I spent 11 years trying. I really gave it my all. Now I’ve left it behind and I never want to go back (except to get my stuff). Some people have asked me if I heard about the big Covid outbreak in Verm. I had no idea until they told me, but I’m not surprised. What the fuck did they expect? Those students are coming from areas where they legitimately believe the virus is a hoax. They’re brainwashed to the point of delusional. Did they really think they were going to get that far into the school year without a massive outbreak? They’ve been back one week and they already have 600 cases. That’s a lot for SD. That’s literally the population of two whole towns.
Meanwhile, in the DMV, everyone is wearing masks. Everyone. People here care about others in their community. They want to keep people safe. It’s so refreshing to be around people who actually CARE about other human beings. People who are intellectually engaged with the world around them. People who appreciate the importance of diversity in their communities. I am so grateful every day of my life I grew up here instead of in South Dakota. So grateful. I am even more grateful that life is behind me now. I never have to live in that miserable shithole or see any of those horrible people ever again.
This feeling that I feel right now is freedom. True freedom. I am finally free of that negative, toxic place for good.
Today I’m off on the final leg of my trip. I’m going to stay with family a little further north. I don’t know how long I’ll be there. I want to come home. I will. I’ll be back before I know it.
Gotta run now. There’s a line out the door, as per usual, and I’m a single taking up space. The next time I update will be from my little room where I’ll be quarantined for the next two weeks.