Kenai

When I was five we moved from Seward to Kenai, near the mouth of the Kenai River. The Kenai River begins at pristine Kenai Lake, in the Kenai mountains, on the Kenai Peninsula, and flows west. It’s a beautiful glacial blue green until it gets close to the mouth, then it meanders through a marshy river flats and the banks become silt clay, which turns the river a corresponding ashy gray color. It oozes out into the Cook Inlet near the town of Kenai.Read More »

Why I won’t kill myself (probably)

ALS has been described as a “glass coffin” illness. It deteriorates nearly all your muscles, but leaves your eyes, sensory nerves and brain alone. You can look around and see all the things you are missing out on, feel how uncomfortable you are lying there, and think about how much it sucks. If I survive it, I intend to start an unsuccessful progressive metal band called Glass Coffin that will only play Monday night gigs at out of the way clubs. That’s highly unlikely, however, which often leaves me thinking of the inevitable, and how that may go down.Read More »

How I’m doing

How are you doing? is a question I dislike, especially if it comes with sincere eye contact and emphasis on the word “doing”. It forces me to assess how I’m doing, and the conclusion is always (surprise), Still shitty. Sometimes people ask me directly, How is your condition? and then I can say that out loud. Otherwise I don’t reflect on how I’m doing. I keep my head in the present for the most part, attending to whatever needs to be done right now. This is better for my mental state, but I can understand that people would like to know. They are concerned, and probably curious about what ALS is like beyond “shitty”. So here goes.Read More »

Eve

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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Letter to myself as a young man, aged 20

Dear Mark,

Dude. It’s me/you! Told you I would write you again. I have to say though, I’m a little disappointed. It looks like you didn’t take any of my advice from before. You got that letter right? Just in case you didn’t, I’m enclosing it here. Some of that stuff will still be useful. I’ll wait for you to read it if you haven’t already.Read More »

Next life to-do list

There are a few things I’ve been meaning to do through the years that I just haven’t gotten around to doing, and now time is running out and it looks like I won’t get to do them. And anyway, I would need to ascend to quite a lofty position of power to get them done, say dictator of America for example, and that in itself would take more time than I have left. I’m hoping that reincarnation is a real thing, so I can get cracking on this to do list when I come back as a despot next time around.

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