Sometimes I think I'm being a damn fool for leaving Minnesota. I was thinking that especially this morning as I crossed the Hiawatha Bridge toward the headquarters of my benevolent employer. The forest along the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers are turning a lush green now. The bridge soars over the valley and gives a panoramic that stretches from downtown Saint Paul to out past Black Dog Lake (about 30 miles) -- all of it leafy and green, with soft hills and fat, lazy river cutting through.
Just as you reach Mendota Heights, the steeple of the 166-year-old St. Peter'sChurch sneaks above the trees and it looks like the sort of thing that Thomas Kinkade would charge you $700 to look at. That's where you would expect God to actually be. When I look at the mammoth, soul-hurting edifices of megachurches I always find it hard to believe that God would hang out at those places any more than he has to. Of course he's there, that's part of the job description of an omnipresent being. But at an old church that rests on the bluffs of the Minnesota River -- that's where he probably enjoys being.
I try to think of what I would be if I hadn't spent my adolescence here, escaping to Nine Mile Creek and the Minnesota, and I have trouble coming up with positives.
Wales is beautiful. The River Taff runs less than 1/3 of a mile from the house where the child bride and I are hoping to live (although there is still some debate as to whether I could swim in the river). We will be able to walk from the house into countryside. Wales has mountains and seaside and better beer and less snow and fewer evangelical churches. But I can't help but feel some sense of guilt/melancholy/doubt for leaving here.
Those of you who paid attention in Twin Cities Geography in school probably got a little confused by the above blubbering: "Wait, Chris, I thought you lived in the prestigious west side of Bloomington Rock City -- what the hell were you doing taking the Hiawatha Bridge across the river? That doesn't make sense. It's like that scene in 'Fargo' when they're supposedly driving down from Bemidji, but for some reason they're on I-35. This is madness!"
I know. Calm down. I was in Saint Paul this morning for a dentist's appointment. I went to the dentist about two weeks ago and they decided that they needed to spend a few hours drilling holes in my skull and filling them, but set the dates for said torture sessions too far into the future for the child bride's liking. So, she arranged for me to go into a different office and have someone poke me in the mouth with pieces of metal before they could set more immediate dates for face drilling.*
The previous dentist had thoroughly depressed me with the number of cavities he found. I am a dental hygiene poster child with all of my flossing and brushing regularly and rinsing with fluoride mouthwash and not drinking pop, but my white trash heritage is too strong and I have bad teeth. Today's dentist found an additional "problem area," hence my more subdued mood.
His apparently serious offer to do the work sans Novocain was soundly rebuked by me, which means that things will be split into two appointments.
The plus side of this is that I plan to burn off my remaining holiday time surplus by taking half days for those appointments. This means I have 16 days of actual working left.
Ask a ninja about love.
Good name for a band: Power Rangers Rendezvous
*Whoa, that sounds like the subject line for one of those really dirty spam e-mails.