He told me he loved Boise because it reminds him of Salt Lake City in the 50’s. I don’t even entirely know what that means, I never do. He has this way of making specifically vague statements in which you draw the meaning only from how it makes you feel. I take it that Salt Lake City in the 50’s was a quietly grand sort of city and a wonderful place to be an artist because one could still afford an apartment and some food with only a part time job a nasty writing habit. I told him that I love Boise because it’s an America I didn’t know still existed. It’s the kind of place where people still beat the dust from their rugs in the front yard and young boys play baseball in the streets. What a wonderful way to change one’s life.
This city has brought out the most authentic version of myself, my true blue. I’ve never felt more at ease or more inspired to be a better writer than I was yesterday. In spite of all that I thought I wanted in life I have fallen madly in love with this place in a way I never could have imagined. But I think the very best things and times come to us in ways that we never could have imagined or dreamt up or bought for any amount of money. When I thought of applying to grad school and received his blessing and more importantly his letter of recommendation, he told my only one thing, Grad school, an MFA, does not make you a writer, it’s only another fancy dress to wear. Writing makes you a writer. Sometimes it takes years for me to truly understand what he tells me about life and about writing and even about guns or camping and the way water tastes in a river bed, but this one I get now. Having finished my first year, nothing about it makes me feel more like a writer than before, other than the fact that I have written more in the last nine months than I have since I sat in his classroom at the ripe age of nineteen.
I now have nearly three months of unbridled time and freedom. The freest I have ever been in my life. I have no one I must be and nothing I must do other than drive across states with the windows down and sing country music, drink cheep bear, read new books, write more stories, people watch, sleep in and swim in every ocean and river I can find. Cheers to progress, freedom, and being true blue.