Mario Villalobos

Montana’s Void

The days are getting longer in Montana. I’m staring at my window and can see the bright rays of the sun seep through the blinds. I’m amazed by how the seasons color my memories of Montana. When I lived in southern California, I never took stock of the weather because it fluctuated from rainy to warm to hot. I don’t even think about the weather when I recall the memories I made there. I moved to Montana three years ago with a few bags and absolutely no idea what was in store for me. I’m happy with how things turned out.

Sometimes I yearn for the bigger city because western Montana is very sparsely populated. I live in a town of 1,800 people. My college dorm room freshman year had more people than that. Missoula, Montana, with a population of 112,000 people, lies about 45 minutes south of where I live now, and I’ve considered moving there but haven’t. I don’t plan to move there now because I have a great job, but I know in the coming years I’m going to think about it. The other day I thought about moving to a city, something like Seattle or Portland. I don’t plan to move back to southern California for years, if ever. I don’t know when I made that decision, but it wasn’t recent. I somehow knew I wasn’t coming back the moment I stepped off that plane three years ago.

I don’t believe I’ve tried very hard to meet women while I’ve lived here. I didn’t when I lived in California. In all honesty, even though I yearn for a woman’s touch sometimes, it’s not as often as it used to be. I’m very focused on my work and on improving my craft, and more than one person has told me that a girl might “corrupt” me. I truly want to be excellent, and I don’t know how much time or energy I want to give toward dating women in pursuit of that. I’m only on day 212, giving me over 150 days before I consider stopping my daily entries. I will finish the first draft of my novel in the next few months, and I will start firefighting shortly after that. I have a busy schedule, and all I want to do is more.

I saw the young teenage girl I’ve had my eye on at school, and I didn’t talk to her like I planned to last week. I have to look elsewhere. I need to look for a girl much older, much more mature, and with some life experiences. I used to think the right girl was out there for me. I used to dream about her, but as I’ve gotten older, those dreams seemed to have disappeared. Now I don’t know if the right girl exists or if I should even be looking. I want to find someone I don’t even know I want, someone who fills the voids I don’t even know I have. I’m ready for the next chapter for my story in Montana. I hope I won’t be alone during it.