Not long ago, I bought my first car and drove across the country to this little college town in the middle of the Garden State. I felt like a pioneer in reverse, the golden paradise of California’s central valley shrinking in the rear-view mirror.
When people here find out where I’m from, they look at me like I’m crazy. They think of beaches and surfing and impossibly beautiful weather with bodies to match; a sun that shines year-round.
Oh, I say. I don’t come from that California.
First they don’t understand; then they’re just disappointed.
I don’t blame them. Continue reading