Fall, 1990. Eve left Fairbanks for Seattle and I left Kenai for Portland. Both of us were excited about going to art school in the big city, and looking forward to getting together as often as we could to compare notes.
It was exciting, but also there was culture shock. For starters, we couldn’t believe that it was dark by 9 PM – in August. A few months later we would agree that it was just wrong to have so much green in the winter, and what with rain instead of snow, it seemed even darker and more depressing than our homes in Alaska. Very unnatural.
And when it did snow – like twice – it didn’t stick around to make everything look pretty. It turned to freezing rain and covered everything like a glazed doughnut. It paralyzed the whole city. Nobody knew what to do, or especially how to drive. A couple of snowflakes and everyone turned into quivering ninnies. What kind of place was this?Read More »
The awkward and anticlimactic meet-up with Eve, the love of my life, just as I was leaving Fairbanks, possibly never to see her again, but after we had already spent a tearful night clutching one another, devastated to suddenly realize our beautiful relationship was over, professing our love for each other even as we were painfully closing the book, and then to bump into each other by chance the very next morning – that was foreshadowing. She ended up coming down to Kenai a couple of weeks later after Corey talked his parents into offering her a job on their commercial fishing site. She and I could be together for the summer.Read More »
Then there was Eve Amundsen. I first met her at fine arts camp up in Fairbanks in the summer between my junior and senior year, right in the middle of my punk rock period. There were no girls in the punk scene where I lived, in Kenai. Just skater guys and me. There were a bunch of punk rock girls up in Fairbanks at fine arts camp, but not many that were smoking hot like Eve was. She had a bitching dyed black mohawk, wore gothic makeup, leather jacket, pointy boots, lots of piercings, including a nose pierce, which in 1987 was a daring thing to have. She was the whole package. However, she was also intense and catty, so I hardly said more than two words to her. Anyway, this was right after Nina so I was still kind of bugged out about girls in general.
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Then there was Nina Perkins. She and I had been classmates since the early days of elementary school, but I didn’t take notice of her in that special way until we were juniors in high school. She had just gotten back from Germany on an exchange program. She came up to me one day right at the beginning of the year wearing a derndl and told me all about how cool Germany was and how much it sucked in the US. I can’t say I was all that into the derndl, but I was well into punk rock by this time – very anti-The Man – so the conversation was right up my alley.Read More »
Then there was Michelle Baker. We were both 13. When I first saw her she was getting snowballed by Johnny Osborne on the Resurrection Trail hike. Johnny was a big hillbilly kid who had an amazing pitching arm. The day before he was snowballing Michelle Baker he was clocking ptarmigans with rocks all up the trail. Now, a ptarmigan is not a smart bird, and will just run away if you throw rocks at it. It takes a while to remember it can fly. Still though, that is a moving target, and Johnny Osborne was clocking them right and left.Read More »
Then there was Ginny Fant. Did I care that she was in fourth grade and I was in sixth? Did I care that she had 11 younger sisters (maybe it was only four) and lived in a shack in the woods? Did I care that she was a mouth breather who always had a smudge of dirt on her nose and a snot plug in one nostril? No I did not, for I was in love with her, and love is blind.Read More »
The first love of my life was Brenda Gantner, and she was perfect. The most perfect girl in the whole kindergarten. She looked like one of those child beauty queens, although that was not a thing yet. She had a cute little button nose and the straightest, silkiest long brown hair. I was deeply smitten.Read More »
The ladies in my life. My exes will want to have their lawyers’ phone numbers handy.
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