A Dispatch from Alaska
1. Drive three hours on steep, snowy, narrow
2. Arrive. Assess the river: old
ice, young ice, shorefast ice?
3. Turn propane gas tank On.
4. Start the wood stove.
5. Wait for cabin to heat up (six hrs. at 11
6. While waiting, drive to well pump site. Insert
7. Fill multiple jugs with water.
8. Return. Feed and water the dog.
9. Turn on shortwave; listen to weather, and live music from the Mountain Stage.
10. Go outside. Do some chores to keep warm.
11. Nightfall. (though it’s only 5 pm). Put keys in pocket.
12. Grab flashlight.
13. Finger keys in pocket, making doubly SURE they are there.
14. Walk out to generator shed and Start (if you’re lucky, it will take on the third try).
15. Turn on the lights, start stovetop and make soup.
16. Wash dishes in tub. Throw dishwater outside in snowbank.
17. Read Gertrude Stein (scratching your head).
18. Revise Chapter 2, again.
19. Watch To Catch A Thief on your computer. Imagine you are speeding along the French Riviera with Cary Grant.
20. Grab flashlight.
21. Put keys in pocket.
22. Finger keys in pocket making
doubly SURE they are there.
23. Walk to generator shed, turn
24. Make way back to cabin door
in pitch black (unless the
moon is out).
25. Put cell phone, keys and
flashlight next to bed (in case of
26. Turn flashlight off.
28. Relish complete and total silence.
Next day: Will your day change in any way,
regardless of who becomes president?
Don’t let any blow torch pundit or yackety-yack friend ruin your simple, bare-and-naked
happiness. Know in your heart your vote was a true, and honest choice.
Stay warm out there.