So, what a day. Some good. Some bad. Some very bad. First, I saw the doctor today. I was having some pain in places where there should be no pain. Not only is it uncomfortable but it has been worrying me. The bottom line? He can't find anything. We will wait and see. That is better than "you have cancer" or something. Second, I was incredibly proud of myself. I figured out how to put together an axle. It may not sound like much but I was proud anyways. I spent my lunch hour at the shop learning how to do it and when I came home it all just fit together like it should. The trailer hasn't been road tested yet but I feel good about it. I didn't want to borrow the money to buy the parts but it is done. The trailer and boat may be in perfect working order. That may become important for the bad news. The bad news is that it looks like my buddy Jesse is leaving to go to law school. That is bad news for me. I am glad for him. But most of the adventures I have are with Jesse. Without him this place won't be the same. And today, for the first time ever, I seriously started thinking about leaving Alaska. I know I am fooling myself. All of my closest male friends live in Northern California. They are married or about to be. So am I. I know that we would rarely see each other. We have lives. Wives. Would I see G? Jeremy? Brian? But what to do? Things like the boat only make sense with other people. The girls won't be old enough for years. J hates it here. Hates it. And, for me, I have one less reason to stay. I can't help but think of the words in my favorite movie, The Shawshank Redemption "Sometimes it makes me sad, though, Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are just too bright... and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice... but still, the place you live is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend." Ken. G. Jesse. Goddamnit it all.


Ken said…
Your post leaves me melancholy. I love Alaska, but it is hard to stay. The Alaska highlights are very high, but the lows are also very low. Read: fishing with friends at 1 am in daylight in June v. darkness and subzero in January. Having the best friends, like you Ben, can make it all worthwhile. Those friends offset the complaints of a spouse...for at least a period of time. Even with friendships, some I did, due to extraneous circumstances. If I did not have friends when I was there, such as you, I would not have made it for the three years I did. I still like to dream of returning to Alaska, and that includes re-uniting with friends. But if my last true friend in Alaska leaves, the wonderous natural beauty and adventure alone will be insufficient for anything other than a visit. Have all the adventurous souls that chuck it all and forge into the unknown stopped coming to Alaska? Those are the sorts that provide a source of new friends (not the usual "sheeple" found in the lower 48). It seems I have not encountered a true brave adventurous type since my return to the old world.
P.S. Thanks for the honorable mention.
Anonymous said…
There are lots of adventures in Arkansas. And you have friend there. ;)
Anonymous said…
Sounds like you've already made up your mind to leave, it's just a matter of when. The market for atty's in the lower 48 is TERRIBLE right now, like really bad. You'd be better off going back to Canada-at least you could see a doctor there AND be unemployed. good luck.

I don't know Angie. I would not go that far at all. Like I said, I'm fooling myself. But I know it is going to be hard. Part of this blog is venting. Part of it is recording how I feel today. Maybe it will change.
Ken: come back and see me when you can. Just for a visit. We'll drink something special. Enjoy the passing of a summer evening together. It was more than an honorable mention...I often miss you.
josh said…
Sadder for Jesse I suppose, yet he doesn't know it yet.

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