I am back in Flagstaff for the holidays, and for perhaps the first time I feel kind of like I'm actually having the small town experience that has always been offered but never delivered when I was here before. Yesterday, as I was downtown christmas shopping at the bead store, I ran into two girls I knew in high school, Erica and Stacey. Erica lives in Michigan and we got in touch once last year so that she could stay with me if she ever visited Chicago, and I haven't seen Stacey since I was a freshman at UA but we used to be okay friends back in the day. So they invited me on a solstice hike, which was utterly lovely and enjoyable, and then they invited me to go to 80's night with them at a local microbrewery and bar. So I went, and was having a great time talking to everybody and drinking my cheap drinks, when all of a sudden all these people I used to know started popping up. I saw at least 5 people, some of whom I haven't seen in about 7 years. None of which is necessarily that strange, except for the fact that in the 6 years I've been visiting I think I have maybe just run into people I knew a very bare handful of times. Perhaps that's the strange thing: that in a town of 50,000 people I could run around every Christmas without running into half the people from my Bio II class sophomore year, or whatever. (The Bio II class had an unusually strong showing last night, I have to admit.) It reminded me a little bit of this girl I met (Anna and Erica know this story), a lesbian slam poet who had written a poem called "My Ex-Girlfriend is Your Ex-Girlfriend" about being a lesbian in a small town. It all comes back to haunt you someday, I guess, and my time hadn't come until last night.
But anyway, the hike was wonderful, the weather is gorgeous, and I can walk outside without looking like a poofball. Yay for Flagstaff!!!