Tuesday, June 11, 2013

As anticipated, leaving Salt Lake City completely broke my heart. A big part of me wanted to just say fuck it to the rest of the summer and stay in Salt Lake until August. Because life is so easy in SLC. Of course I don't mean the ignorance and the political... um... circumstances, but just everyday life. Going to the grocery store is easy. Parking is easy. Driving somewhere 20 miles away is easy. There's only approximately one of everything, so you don't have to stress out choosing which yoga studio you'll go to, where you'll take your cat when he needs to go to the vet, or what coffee shop to do your work in. [Answers: Centered City Yoga, University Vet, and The Rose and/or Nobrow]. Someone once told me that I should like SLC more than I did at the time because SLC is just like me. Quirky. Weird. Confusing. Contradictory. The architecture there is fascinating. It's a giant hodgepodge of old, new, unique, traditional, and everything in between.

It's the kind of place where I can spend the morning reading on my friend's roof in an apartment complex that looks like this:
Then spend the afternoon riding my bike to meet professors for coffee in the Aves, passing by things like this:

And this:
Then return to my old apartment building to find this monstrosity suddenly sprung up in the dirt lot that used to be directly outside my bedroom window. No explanation as to what it is or when it went up [since my last visit in October] or why:
Then wonder what the fuck these shipping containers are doing here on 700 S in the middle of the street:
Then meet friends for drinks at a bar called The Garage, which is wedged between a mountain and an oil refinery:

See what I mean? I feel like if I am any city in the world, I am Salt Lake City. Which makes me uncomfortable for political and moral reasons, but when I say I am Salt Lake City, I mean that I am the contradictions, the architecture, the sudden surprises, the unpredictability, the mish-mash, the quirks. And with a giant dying lake along side me. And an expanse of already dead lake turned salt flats just two hours to my [left]west. 
Some NaCl I stole from the Salt Flats

My last day in Salt Lake was a full and beautiful one. T cooked me bacon while I hung out in the kitchen, I went to my SLCC Community Writing Center mentee's high school graduation with her family and gave her the gifts I spent the entire previous evening shopping for, met D for drinks at the diviest bar I've ever visited, spent a couple hours in the late evening drinking beers and shooting the shit in L's backyard next to the fire, then drove around the Aves late at night with T where she showed me the best view of the city. 
So proud of my girl. She got a full ride to Colorado College, plus three other
scholarships. She did me and her family proud. 

I titled my Salt Lake City photo album for this trip, "I'm not alone/I'll never be" for two reasons: 1) that's just a great fucking song, and 2) I'm not alone. And I'll never be. I was more alone than I ever would have imagined myself being when I moved to Salt Lake City in 2010, and yet somehow now Salt Lake City is the one city that reminds me of all I have, all the people who love and support me, who let me love and support them. My intellectual center is here in Utah [if such a thing as an intellectual center exists in {except actually outside of} a person]. The foundation of my strength is here in Utah. And whenever I need to be reminded of everything I've been through, everything I've survived, and everything I've built, I just visit Salt Lake and it's all there. My life as I struggled through it. All the people I met that have become everything I need.


Anonymous said...

you make everything beautiful. xoxxx, dawn.

Ali Rachel Pearl said...