First I booked the flight, then I booked the rental, and today, after fighting Priceline for 2 days with bids on top of failed bids, I finally booked the hotel, right next to the 16th Street Mall. It actually wound up being closer to the bus stop (where I’ll arrive from the airport) than the rental place, so I may end up checking in first to drop off my bags before picking up the car.
Colorado. Sheesh. It only took me 20 years.
Ever since I got it in me to dream about living in a log cabin surrounded by snowy mountains, with a wolf-dog named Caleb and a wife who looked like that girl in the soap opera that I used to crush on, Colorado was always on my radar. I would live there, in a dry climate, with cool summers and snowy winters, and beautiful autumn seasons. I would bake my wife pizza and in return she would bake me cupcakes. We would sit by the fire and snuggle and talk of life and poetry, while Caleb happily dozed away near our feet..
And right before I graduated college in ’98, I thought, if only for a moment, that I would actually achieve that dream. I had applied for a job back then with the Boulder Police Department (yes, THAT Boulder Police Department) to be a computer forensic technician. Since that was the kind of job I had been studying in school for since the beginning, I thought it was meant to be. I was going to move to Colorado. I was going to get the job I wanted, working in law enforcement, living in the mountains. I was going to meet the girl of my dreams. It was really going to happen. At 21 years old, this was truly going to be the beginning of the rest of my life.
And then I came in sixth in the applicant process. Out of a pool of, well, six applicants.
And the dream slipped away. I would never see Colorado. I would never find that log cabin. I would never find her.
I tried again, I think, hard to remember what I exactly did after that, but I’m pretty sure I tried for other jobs in Colorado. But… the Darkness that was New York swallowed me whole and sent me spiraling down a bottomless pit of misery and despair.
13 years of plague and darkness. Until finally… a dim light breaks through. The light… of a computer monitor, as it displays my confirmed reservations for Colorado.