The Bad Place

I used to think of the Phoenix Metro area as The Bad Place.

The Bad Place was full of fake blondes with fake boobs and perfect teeth and convertibles and they were almost insulting because not only were they outrageously hot but also, in my head, they were those awesome Arizona-type chicks. They could drink and gamble and basically, they left me with nothing to show for cool points except for my vast knowledge of all things Classic Rock.

The Bad Place was also a pit of meth users, totally waiting to corner me at the strip mall and give me free trials and get me addicted. I think I really truly believed that if I lived in The Bad Place, some skinny guy in smelly jeans would approach me at Wild Oats and give me free drugs with the sole intention of making me a user.

The Bad Place doesn't have any art, I'd tell myself, and the "people" there aren't very concerned with being themselves.
"Posers," I would sniff, in the general direction of Phoenix. "Tucson is lived in but the people here are REAL." So indignant in my insistence that in order to be creative, in order to be serious, and in order to be as smart as me, people needed to see the eclectic beauty here and understand that The Bad Place would steal their souls and sell them for meth.

Tucson is an art-faggy town and I love that so much, especially when it's not winter. This is my very least favorite time of year here - it's so cold and so dry and the old people are arriving so there are longer lines and more cars and they think that 60 degrees make for "Beautiful day-time temps". I believe that beautiful daytime temps can be found on the surface of the sun and that is why I live in Southern Arizona. Beautiful? 60? I would be laughing hysterically but my throat hurts because it was 22 degrees last night and my house, like so many other old places here, doesn't have HEAT. 60 isn't warm unless you are in your RV and you are burning through natural gas like you are parked on top of one of those mines with the hammer-looking thing and the fire on top of the hammer, waaaaay out in the cornfields where I grew up.

The thing is, I was talking about The Bad Place.

Phoenix always seemed soulless to me, like the people only wanted was a new house in a suburban-looking community named, like, Coyote Creek or Saguaro Circle. Everybody who lives in The Bad Place wants a house that is the same color as the rest of the houses on their street and that, my friends, is a little too 'Poltergeist' for me. Nope. No thanks, I live in Tucson.
The Old Pueblo.
Tucson, derived from Tohono.
Too Stoned.


It's better than Phoenix.
It has artistic cred.
It's got lots of gays and college kids and not a whole lot of development, just like I like things.

I may have underestimated The Bad Place. I was there this weekend and I didn't go out or anything but it felt different to me than when I was there, when I first moved to Arizona and was trapped in Mesa with that French Canadian control freak and a long-haired idiot, who, while hot, was a mole that was begging for removal.
It was a Bad Place then.

So I was in the Bad Place this weekend and something didn't seem so bad about it. It was so PRETTY. There were tons of trees and it was clean and I couldn't see homeless people trudging determinedly toward me in every parking lot, or pissing under every highway sign. I don't hate homeless people but this time of year in Tucson... I'm just sick of being asked for things that I don't have, you know? Anywhere you go here, and I do mean anywhere, some balding guy in a trench coat and work boats is going to call you a fucking bitch under his breath when you shake your head and say, "I don't carry cashĒ.

The Bad Place is really, really pretty and clean and it doesn't smell like sewer treatment facilities and there's IMAX and Tempe and there's this guy andÖ duh? Like I donít know that's an intellectually poor thing - to count a guy on a list of things that make The Bad Place not so bad because..
You're going to say that I did that one time and failed.

But Iíve never put a guy on the actual list. When I moved before, he wanít as important as you think he was and I know that youíll never believe me because sometimes, you and I donít get each other. I came out here so thoroughly for me and the difference is that I would NEVER be reconsidering the Bad Place if it wasnít for a guy. Howís that for honesty?

It used to be easy to have very low expectations and then be pleasantly surprised when people exceeded them. Now, Iíd much rather not compromise my expectations and be quite happy by myself, patiently playing alone until someone comes along and I donít have to lower my sense of self in order to keep the peace.
Give a little credit, you know?
So, no, I never counted that long-hair on the original list but I'm making this other list right now, a list comparing my precious little retown, Tucson, with The Bad Place.

The Bad Place isn't very bad now.

I sort of feel like I want to be there. Maybe. Thatís huge for me to say that. I have been on Team Tucson since I can remember.
So maybe these feelings about NOT referring to Phoenix ĎThe Bad Placeí could be 100% related to the time of year and how difficult it is for me to live in Tucson in the winter.

Fuck it.
The Bad Place. I am woman enough to be able to admit that perhaps I was wrong and The Bad Place? Itís not so bad. Itís actually very pretty and there's this guy and he's very pretty and I would make changes, I think.
I think that I could do that.

I'm also entertaining the idea that perhaps some of my fears may have been unfounded.
For example, the smart money would say that there aren't any tweaker drug dealers who are going to sit at my table at the library and make me do drugs.
That's probably not going to happen.

arizonasarah at 8:43 a.m.

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