Strange Times are Here, Strange Days Are Back Again

So, three months ago, at the behest of forces real and imaginary (but mostly for a job,) I moved to Salem, Massachusetts.
I may as well have moved to Timbuktu. In my hometown of Nelson, New York, neighbors responded to my plans with chortles of disbelief. “Why,” they would ask, “would you want to leave all this?” And they’d sweep their arm wide, wide over the hilly upstate New York landscape to indicate the great and beloved treasure of Nelson: the dairy cow.
Where I come from, dairy cows alone outnumber humans roughly three to one. Why would I ever want to leave Nelson? How about the impending cow uprising for starters?
Also, Boston. It had been my dream since high school to run off to a Big City, get a job where I could use my brain, and be a Great Big Dyke in a house by the sea without molestation or grief. Freedom beckoned from the coast. Restaurants and public transportation beckoned. Provincetown Women’s Weekend beckoned very hard – I had pictures to prove it.
And, one day, while minding my own business, I got a job in a library on the North Shore.
The hopeful little lamp I carried for Boston turned into a full-fledged genie overnight. I got a sweet bachelor pad and a CSA and trucked my cat, my books, and my motorcycle out to Salem over a weekend.
Then, rent came due.
Then I had to see a doctor.
Then I got my first paycheck – and heard the word “Taxachussets” for the first time.
Life remains fairly rosy. I wouldn’t return to Nelson for the world. My job rocks, for one thing. My boss is legitimately great. Salem’s always got something going on, and anyway I’m not sure I could get my cat back into the carrier after the last six-hour car ride. But life’s different here. It’s expensive and full of strange twists. It’s the first real challenge I’ve ever had. Frankly, it’s exactly what I needed.
This blog will chronicle my take on living in Greater Boston, from the food to the fines to the freaky goings-on. Boston via country mouse: what could be better? I even like to think that maybe, just maybe, YOU are a pansy in a bed of petunias somewhere and are considering a Big Jump. Jump away, my friend. If I can do this, you’ve got proof that even the least civilized of hicks can make it anywhere.


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