Synaesthesia Magazine Americana - Page 39

Pros & Cons of Montana

Reasons why you should live in Montana:

1. You were born there and it calls your name.

2. You were not born there but it calls your name.

3. The Big Sky has something to do with the trees, the curvature of the earth, the way the quiet bends the blue around your ears.

4. You have an inexplicable love of bears even though you’ve read they smell of sleep and would just as soon eat you as look at you.

5. You, too, are a dichotomy: myth and truth, barren and fertile, boulder and water, town and pasture.

Things to see and do in Montana:

1. A deep winter day skiing or shoveling or riding a wooden toboggan tied to the bumper of an old truck with blue exhaust should be followed up with beer and a pizza in one of the dark wooden booths at Bogart's in Red Lodge.

2. When the summer air starts to ripple with grasshoppers, pick up a

Frosty Freez in Big Timber. Head up to the Natural Bridge, revel in the cooler air as you gain elevation. See how the land heaves onto itself, where the pavement won't stay, where the river takes its due.

3. Heal in the sulphur pools at Chico Hot Springs. In the Saloon next door, someone sings Hank Williams in the corner. Tourists full of cheap Canadian whiskey flounder across uneven wooden floors, faces lit by neon beer signs.

4. Watch the sunrise from the Rims in Billings. Here is where the brother of your grandfather died when he was twelve. Here is where you watch the city stretch into something you no longer recognize, where the planes land, where you rode bikes with Lizzy when you told everyone you were going to the mall. Here's where she told you she was moving to Mars, Pennsylvania – a place, for all intents as purposes, as far away as its namesake.

5. Prepare for your own exodus at Sacrifice Cliff. Fingers to warm sandstone, you’re reminded – here or anywhere – history and future will have very little to do with you, most of the indelible marks already having been made.