He has taken a new job in what must be the smallest town in ruralest Vermont. Was it programming? Maybe, but it definitely has something to do with the police. Being the dispatcher for the police in this town. Maybe even the town’s sole police officer. The joke in the state is that the town’s entire population is three: one to service as its constable, and the other two to the plow the roads and take turns in jail. We warn our friend (he is our friend) that maybe this isn’t the right job for him–isn’t he more accustomed to a larger town? isn’t he a driving enthusiast? and doesn’t this town have no roads?
But no matter–he insists–he is taking the job anyway.
And sure enough the first day is miserable. But isn’t the first day on any new job always at least a little miserable? And at the end of that day he jumps on his mountain bike and pedals hard up-hill–up that steep, steep hill–to the apartment building (half-vacant) that he now calls home. And he climbs up those balconies, because the elevator is out. And when he climbs over that last ledge into his own apartment’s balcony, he finds an obese man, an alcoholic reeking of cheap gin, lounging in a make-shift hammock and dressed up as Santa Claus.
Santa offers him a drink and asks if maybe the countryside is more attractive at sunset than it under starlight?