Mario Villalobos

Baby Steps

I think I found my new favorite place in Montana, and that’s the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore in Missoula. I drove the 60 miles to get there, perused their fiction section for about half an hour, and came home with five brand-spanking new books. I didn’t care how much money I spent or what books I bought. I wanted to be spontaneous. I wanted to just pretend that I had zero worries in the world and that all I wanted to do was read. I bought books by Eudora Welty, Zadie Smith, Joan Didion, Thomas Pynchon, and John Cheever. They’re all sitting beside me in bed, and I can’t wait to start reading them. A man can get used to spending less time online and more time in books and even outside.

Today’s trip was a small baby step toward something I hope will bear tasty fruit. I love driving. My drive down there reminded me of my drive to California. I hadn’t spent that long in a car driving since then, and I missed it. I miss the open road. I know it was just a trip to Missoula, but it was such a beautiful day, and Missoula was lively today, with so many people riding their bikes or taking walks and simply enjoying the beautiful weather. I might seriously consider finding an apartment down there for me. The commute to work will suck, but who knows, maybe I can find a tech job down there I can do.

I liked not being held down by anything today. I woke up when I felt like it (which was still early, at around 6:15 AM), I drank my copious amounts of coffee, and I even read (shocker!). I think I’m getting closer to wanting to work out and write again. I think I’ve been away from it for too long. I’m changing so many little habits that it’s making me think about what I do and how I think and that’s helping me reevaluate how I do things. I find myself checking my phone less since I removed some of those annoying and time-sucking tics I used to have, like checking my RSS feeds and Twitter and Instagram feeds. Instead, I’m watching TV and reading. The watching TV part isn’t as bad as I thought I’d take it, but the reading part is super welcome and exciting.

Next week I might go back to that bookstore and buy a few more books. One of the workers there was a really cute blonde girl with thick black-framed glasses, and she liked my selection of books. I was too shy to say anything back, but who knows, maybe if I just focus on the baby steps, I can make some progress in this area of my life. I drove for two hours, and only hung out at the bookstore for maybe 30 minutes. That’s kinda sad and crazy, isn’t it? I’m happy, though, and I love bookstores. Here’s to next week, yeah?