It’s hard to be Hank Moody in Calgary. It’s too cold and I don’t like going outside and freezing my balls off to have a cigarette. Everyone is into cows and nobody reads and nobody would be impressed with good poetry, even if I managed to write any. Sure, there’s an arts scene, but what the fuck can you do with an arts scene that requires a 20-minute walk in the snow to see?
What writer lived in the cold? Who toiled away by the fire and typed on a Smith-Corona under big thick fur blankets? Oh that’s right, the ones that all died in 1891 from tuberculosis.
I’m pouring another drink, because this is depressing.
Where you live is important, you can’t be who you want to be in a place that refuses you such things. I’ve been going through that a little bit lately, and it’s made me realize that moving somewhere for reasons other than, “this is where I want to live,” is a fool’s errand that will only end with you staring down the walls of your apartment and hating everyone and everything that you interact with.
I don’t actually want to be Hank Moody. My hair isn’t that cool. I just want to be a writer, and when I was in British Columbia that seemed like a thing that I could be on the doorstep of every second, because all I did was run into writers; good ones, bad ones, terrible ones, fucking awful ones, and great ones that I was incredibly jealous of.
Alberta doesn’t have any writers. At least, it doesn’t have any writers that don’t write about horses and horseshit. The artistic dreams that have fled this place hang in the air like the tendrils from cigarette smoke, and while some can manage to eke out some kind of artistic living, it’s still hard to have an art opening when it’s forty below.
It just feels like I’m left behind, that all the arts have gone and I’m here holding down the fort, like a soldier left behind with too much ammunition waiting for backup that is never going to show up. I know you could say that maybe I should use all my feeling on the place to write something strong, to take these feelings of despair and pour them into some kind of work that means something. But I can’t seem to do that because all I thinking about is how fucking cold it’s going to be when I go out to get milk.
But how do you fix something like location? I’ll fix it somehow, but how much is it going to cost? How much is real life going to interfere?
I can’t be Hank Moody in Calgary, or the Hank Moody of Calgary, because I’m pretty sure he wears a parka, drives a 4×4 and bangs puck bunnies outside of an outdoor rink, and all of that sounds too sad to even comprehend.
Whatever, I need a new role model anyway.