One of my new friends here in Virginia City -- who coincidentally belongs to my new best canine friend, Rosie -- is an intriguing character. A seasoned, second-year Player, he prefers to be completely removed from social media, so for his privacy's sake, we'll just call him "Alex." Alex's ability to exist off the radar already makes him unique in an era that continues to indulge this surely-on-its-way-out interweb fad. But it doesn't stop there. Alex has a VCR. And an entire multi-shelf collection of VHS tapes. That he watches. On a TV with 3 dimensions. He doesn't know his email address. He becomes enraged at the casual drop of the word "hashtag." His iPod and his phone are two separate devices. And when his iPod battery dies, he has three CDs to rotate through the car disc player on our sporadic but lengthy road trips: a Citizen Cope album; a Kings of Leon mix that skips on tracks 12 through 20; and a burned copy of Coolio's Gangsta Paradise, to which he knows all the words. All of them. Guys. All of them.
Apart from his charming disdain for the 21st century, Alex enjoys snowboarding, Cold Smoke, and long walks on the Montana. Indeed, he gives the impression of being a good ol' bro when you first meet him. His voice lends a resonant, rounded, baritonal character that can only be genuinely attained through growing up in the rural mountains of the West and beginning each day with a well-balanced breakfast of a beer and a cigarette (the balance is achieved in placing the beer in the left hand, the cigarette in the right). His signature ensembles range from grey t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops to blue t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops. He believes that if he can't fit all his belongings -- including Rosie -- into his car, then he needs to downsize. His dedication to starting, stoking, and smothering campfires is a calling, and almost every night he can be found standing atop one of the large stones that border the fire pit, spitting into the flames in true bro form. Sometimes he falls in.
Yet Alex is a sensitive actor who sings, giggles, and suggests vaudeville numbers that will allow him to dress up as a bikini-clad baleen whale. He has "Raggedy Andy on Ice" on his resume. He hates football. He names his dogs after flowers. He enjoys a good late-night chat and isn't too proud for a spontaneous group pillow fight. Not to mention he's an incredible authority on the wonders of Yellowstone National Park.
But alas, I continue to unlock the various colors and contradictions of Alex, and so I unfortunately have no proper ending for this post. For now, I shall leave you with this video of his very first tour-guide experience through one of Montana's most beloved parks.
About this blog...
19th century melodrama,
haunted costume shops,
my discovery that "sump" is a word...
Box and Cox, a satire about two English gents unwittingly renting the same flat.
Season complete. Bags packed.