I’m going to preface this by saying, this has possibly been one of the worst 24 hour periods of my existence. Also, in case you missed a previous post, I’ve moved to rural Alaska to work for a national service organization.
Everything about me is wrong.
There might not be a right,
But there’s a better than this.
I just want to talk to my mom.
My call won’t go through.
And I’m hold again.
Everything would be ok if I could talk to her.
I could tell her what happened, and she would say,
Oh, I’m so sorry.
Then she’d talk my ear off, but I wouldn’t mind,
Because it would be my mom’s voice.
It would be familiar.
One day, I’ll be rich enough,
And I’ll live in a sauna. And I won’t have to have blankets on the back of my couches, and people won’t tell me my hands are cold. I won’t have to try and fall asleep cold.
I remember once when my dad didn’t turn the heat on in the great square house, and I was so cold that I put on the pink and white flower comforter that we’d left on the floor for years.
I didn’t care. I was so cold.
It’s so hard to fall asleep cold, wondering if there are bug bites in your blanket, but not caring, because you have to put on something, because heat is so expensive for those great, big, floor-to-celling, build before air-conditioning houses, and you don’t want to wake your dad up to say you’re cold, because you’re already costing him so much money.
I ache, I miss something, anything familiar, ache. Actually ache.
I want a friend, I want, I need, I am, I feel.
My Mom used to complain about her Mom going to bingo.
She would come home from college, she hadn’t seen her Mom in months and months.
And her Mom would still go to bingo, and her club, and hospital.
She wouldn’t alter her schedule.
And now, my mother is the same way. My sister went to visit her.
My Mom put my sister on hold, because she had to walk nine miles, she’s training for a mini (mini-marathon) and she had to make food for the church.
My sister complained to me.
“I guess I’m just not important enough.”
Waiting for me to validate her.
My life is hold music.
I called the IRS. I sent in my taxes check today.
I called the state department of revenue. I paid them over the phone.
Because of the new time-zone shift, I have to call people when I first wake up.
By the time I’m off work, it’s ten o’clock there.
I called the Amazon overlords to replace missing screws for a desk, they’re sending me a new desk.
I called the bulk grocery store. They’re sending me another box of cocoa powder. The first one exploded. I have packets of crackers covered in chocolate dust. I offered to send pictures.
I called grant administrators.
I had to call my car insurance company.
Then I had to call the car insurance for the state.
Then I had to call the car insurance agent.
Then I died.
Then I made calls for work.
Then I called in for the last conference call of my old job.
Wait, what did they call it? “” I checked the email.
It was the worst one of the day.
I felt used. I felt manipulated. They were talking from a script instead of to me. They weren’t reactive, they were covering their bases. Did I say this? Yes. I can’t get in trouble then. And look I can make it through an actual call without having to talk to anyone.
I am numbers on a dial-in conference number.
I learned how to say it’s not my problem
I worked for a businessy-business.
That’s what I learned.
To not take responsibility.
To know the answer to a question and keep your mouth shut,
Otherwise someone, somewhere will push you into doing something.
And you’ll end up searching for deals online at one in the morning looking for pre-wrapped canvas cityscapes that fit the overall décor scene.
In one way, I feel like I fit in,
In the same way that I’m like Dad,
That I don’t have patience for useless things,
Like straight edges.
And people here don’t seem to care either
If my 6 year old mac book has greasy keys.
So. I’m living on an island of ~600 people.
There aren’t any Mexicans or black people. Pretty much just natives and whites, and a Korean family.
There is no restaurant, bar, or coffee shop.
You can’t drive to get here.
I’ve been here two weeks.
Start praying for me.
I did it. I flew across the country by myself.
And I didn’t die.
I got trained by these people who really seem to care.
I heard horror stories about poverty, and what it means,
And what it looks like.
It was just depressing.
I told a girl on the bus ride over to the plane this,
And she said, it wasn’t depressing, it made me want to do something.
A something that will be useless.
I’ve never talked so much about where I’m from, until I’m not there anymore.
Because I assume people would know what I was talking about.
But now they don’t.
They’ve never been to KFC, or seen movies in a theater.
I’m an outsider, for the first time, a person who wasn’t born here, who didn’t grow up here.
And I don’t fit in, for a good reason. But it’s the first time I don’t fit in with a good excuse.
I may or may not have had a thing with the only other person I know here.
I drank PBR because he was drinking PBR.
And I had to tell him about my claustrophobia.
That you can’t trap me with your arms.
And that I had to ask my friend before we went any further.
He fell asleep. I had to control my breathing.
Packages take two weeks to get here.
The dump is a pile of trash they light on fire every once in a while,
It’s where all the bald eagles are.
There are miles of logging roads people go “cruising” on.
I’m so alone.
A loaf of bread costs $3.50, the cheap, white kind.
You can’t fill up your gas tank past half-full,
They have a fuel stealing problem.
I have 4G, though, and Amazon Prime.
There’s an airport for seaplanes,
And commercial fishing,
And alcohol. So much alcohol.
My mother called me,
My uncle visited and saw grandma before she died,
My brother asked a girl to the prom, she said no.
My sister’s visit was nice, but short, and they have communication problems.
My stepdad is having more dementia and skin cancer.
My mom still has no external support system.
She was analyzing me,
Like I wasn’t me,
It was as if I was a test, an experiment, like when we were kids,
And she was trying out reactions, seeing how far she could push me, before I’d get upset.
She did it on the phone,
Practicing her counseling techniques,
One step away from, well how does that make you feels.
It sounds as though…
I hear that you’re…
Well what do you want from this situation …
What’s your best outcome.
I remember why I no longer confide.
I watched basketball.
I quit my part-time other job this week.
I’m officially under-employed, qualified for SNAP, and poor.
Tired and poor.
What have I done?
So. I’m moving to Alaska for a year long volunteer service opportunity with AmeriCorps. My posting is going to be spotty between now and when I get settled. I’ll keep you updated.
If you’re interested in my work in Alaska, send me a note and I’ll give message you a link to my travel blog.
I’ll post a new schedule in the bar over there —–> hopefully by the end of the month as to when you can expect new content.
Some Bad Plankton