I am pretty sure I would have skipped Salt Lake City had there not been familiar faces there. It was a strange place all together. Every street had a number, and there were no names to be seen anywhere. It was a city on a perfect grid, with perfect blocks, all numbered in perfect chronological order. The houses bothered me more… All the little outskirts and well into the city all you could see was neighborhood after neighborhood of big-family mansions, all looking eerily similar to the next, and every one of them painted tan, with an occasional brown or off-white one thrown in. This was not only a city without personality it was a city without color. I knew there were people around but all the houses seemed dark, and although many had children’s play gyms and toys in the yard and it was the dead of summer there wasn’t a child to be seen. You could see lots and lots of churches though, one for every neighborhood. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the people I was about to meet, I had hoped they weren’t as bland as the city itself.
Chris and Brandy lived on one of only two streets I saw with a name. Their neighborhood had regular sized houses and seemed a bit cheerier. I was greeted at the door by two fantastically friendly little mongrels, a Chihuahua mix (I think with a shibu inu or some other unusual breed..) and a rat terrier mix. Already I was set a little to ease.
It was Father’s Day so my visit was short but pleasant. Chris and Brandy were both very laid back and seemingly happy people with a sense of humor. They were very easy to get along with. Brandy and myself just sat quietly. Though she did joke we should check out their lake whose salinity was like the dead sea, making people float. The idea intrigued me but the area kind of scared me off trying this…
The next day I visited a guy named Mike. I stopped in at their place and was greeted immediately by three cheerful talkative children, two of which hugged me within the first five minutes of being there. The eldest chatted off my ear for awhile while her brother looked at me with big adoring eyes. Their mother was sick so we only met her for a moment when they woke her up. It was later in the day, she had a migraine, and everything was bothering her. I know what that’s like! Mike himself seemed a very laid back guy, though he did seem quite tired. I can’t blame him though, three kids, all close in age… ouch. They in turn spent a lot of time dragging around two kittens who I’m sure will be amazingly tolerant cats someday. They had two cats and two kittens in the household and Mike told us they were probably not going to keep both or either of the kittens. I enjoyed the little black and white kitten who reminded me of my mother’s cat, Tobey. It reminded me of the Wal-Mart I went into before Salt Lake City. There were two kids outside with a box of free kittens, each hugging a kitten as tight as they could like, “Our mom sent us out here to get rid of these but don’t take our kittens! We love them!” I don’t think they were very successful… And yesterday I saw a guy in an old Volkswagen Bus taking his cat for a walk at a truck stop.
Anyway, Mike told me of his recent artistic ventures making some sci-fi shorts for online and he told us about his prior job as a truck driver, stating he’d been to all the lower 48, save for the New England states. My visit was short and sweet as the children had to be off to bed. I left Salt Lake, again.
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