I have a friend in town. We went to high school together; we’ve seen each other once since I left Jersey in 1987.
And here she is as if we saw each other just last week.
She’s here because she is thinking about moving here. She used to live on the I-70 corridor, then she moved to the PNW to get out of the snow but she misses the sunshine so I am trying to convince her that here is the perfect compromise.
I want her to join me in my little corner of Paradise, so I am trying to show off my homeland.
The problem is, she arrived just in time for another Saturday morning “Freedom Ride” through downtown Cortez; our weekly reminder that I, and apparently we (the “liberals”) are Sheeple.
I told her about our citizens who are tearing into each other over the issue of a piece of fabric.
I said to her, “I’m so embarrassed – my County is so poorly behaved right now.”
I told her how I normally feel about my home town. I told her that we are a community of folks, with the good old fashioned values of “neighbors helping neighbors.”
I explained to her that I have always felt at home here, and accepted, and included, because we value taking care of each other more than we do personal politics.
I was the lone hippie that moved into this County before it was discovered. I may have been ridiculed behind my back, but no one ever, EVER, made me feel like I didn’t belong.
And now, I am telling my friend that my once idyllic little haven is being torn in half over a piece of fabric.
She has been so safe, so careful, so isolated behind her mask, and so supported within her city and state. She is in utter disbelief at the fact that anyone would fight this simple and life-saving courtesy.
She says, “Wait, isn’t there a mask mandate from the Governor?”
Then, “Don’t your neighbors care about their neighbors?”
“Do I want to live here?”
It’s sad, and as I said, embarrassing. I hate that she is seeing Montezuma County at its ugliest. I try to tell her that it’s not always like this but I don’t see that it’s going to improve any, any time soon.”
I hate that she is witnessing our divisiveness, our self-righteous anger, our stupidity.
I’m mortified to say that our leaders, and so many residents of our corner of the world, believe that they are above the law.
Our people are going rogue and it’s not flattering.
It’s off-putting to someone considering moving here.
She’s questioning if she would feel safe walking down Market Street in her mask and “Make Orwell Fiction Again” t-shirt, and I have to say, “I’m not sure you are safe.”
She’s from Portland.
She feels less threatened there.
People, think about that.