At the apartment where I live in Watford City, I have gotten to know some of my neighbors. In the parking lot, the license plates read: Florida, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming,Texas. I know that these people don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be here.
I am in my late 40s now, and in Watford City, I often say to myself, “Where has my life gone?”. I am not senile yet, I know how I got here. It all started with me wanting to try to live a happier and better life. I had graduated from a university with a degree in engineering. I had lived in a large city and worked my way up, earning more and more money. I had saved up enough money to not have to work for three years, I hated the city, and I wanted to move.
I did not want to live in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, or Mississippi, because I thought of those states as being “ignorant and backwards”. Every one of those states looks like paradise to me right now. I messed up, I messed up. There was no one telling me and explaining to me that that is my culture, that is where you belong, you won’t fit in or be happy anyplace else. Most of this blog consists of me trying to figure out why the people in North Dakota are so unfriendly, inhospitable, unhelpful, uncooperative, and why the women try to look and act unattractive. Rather than me having to explain it in blog post after blog post, somebody from the South my age would just say, “Well, yeah.”, meaning, you’re not telling us anything we didn’t already know.
When I moved, I moved out West. Some small towns in Colorado were O.K., but there was no place to work. Colorado Springs was too much like the Rat Race that I had left. I lived in some small towns in Arizona, enjoyed them very much, but few places to work. Did not like Phoenix. Lived a few places in Idaho, was ready to settle down, and did. The Mormons in Idaho have a preference for Mormons, and they made it seem to me like I had made a mistake in moving there. I wished that I would have tried living in Montana and Wyoming.
Looking back at my life, it wasn’t a mistake for me to ty to live out West. It seems that I spent too much time in Idaho, when I wonder where the years went, they’re there, wasted amongst the Mormons. The bad economy in Idaho, caused me to go to work in North Dakota. For the past four years, whether in Dickinson, Utah, Texas, or Watford City, it has been small oil field towns where it is hard to find a place to stay or a place to eat. I can’t believe my life has turned out like this.
It is kind of like finding yourself in prison. You do things during the day. You go to eat. You read the newspaper. You watch TV. You read your mail. You exercise. You take a shower. But you’re not going anywhere, you’re not getting out. The people around you are mostly a reminder of your confinement. In Watford City, like prison, you can only dream about the life you once had: Waking up to a warm clear sky, looking out at harbor full of boats, people of different nationalities chattering while walking to the store, red and yellow hibiscus flowers, fig trees, sea grapes, palms, walking to a white sand beach, dogs playing, everyone smiling, everyone happy…. Here in Watford City, the best thing you have is the CENEX Gas Station: Waking up to the sound of trucks idling, the smell of diesel in the air, dirty oil field workers in a hurry to get to a location in order to smash their hand…
Somebody, please go ahead write the comment, “Well if you don’t like it, you can leave!”