I’m at the library during my lunch break, because I wanted to get away from it all. It’s been a particularly dreary morning. Cold and raining and the darkest it’s been since we’ve been here.
I couldn’t wake up this morning, and my alarm goes off every ten minutes for two hours, and Carinne’s does as well. Sydney’s watch that she left behind is beeping throughout the early morning hours too, but Carinne and I are both in too much of a deep sleep to do anything about it.
Heather yells at me on the way out the door for running back inside the apartment with my boots on to grab something, and I try to take a deep breath.
Calm Collected Container of Zen.
I drink my coffee at muster at the boys’ apartment, and abstain from “hug Wednesday” this week.
And then we head out to the van, and Ricky lets the girls know that George just got his test results back, and he has the worst strain of MRSA possible. He’s going to have to get an IV in his arm three times a day for the next month or so. And this is the last resort.
George jumps into the car a few minutes later and we’re all off to work, regardless.
I have a mild freak out moment in the van. But at this point, my panic can’t really reach its height. I feel I’ve exhausted myself so much this round, we all have, that we are just kind of beginning to let things take place. Realizing we can’t do much. We try, and that’s all we can do. You’ve got to protect yourself also, and there’s a point when you need to stop trying and either write a satire on it all, or go read a book.
Alyssa and I spent the morning together walking and talking for work. Everyone is in a bad place right now, and no one is emotionally, mentally or physically healthy. And the focus stays on “the work,” which I could write for a fucking week about, but am choosing not to right now. Because when I’m not there, I don’t want to deal with it.
I walk into the library for lunch though, and Bernice is at the back table, waving me over.
I smile and walk over, and she rushes to meet me, holding out the schedule for the July 4 games taking place the next three days.
“You’ve got to participate. Cash prizes! Would you like me to to make a copy for you?” She’s pointing at the Marathon taking place on Saturday, and I wonder how she knew I was thinking about doing it. But then I remember that everyone is related to everyone in Barrow, and word gets around pretty fast.
I tell her I’m doing it. And I’m going to go and cheer her on in her events. She’s 63, and going strong.
Greer, the guy we met yesterday is at the computer across from me. He’s waving and smiling to Jess and I. “You’re a beautiful person,” Jess had shouted across the street at Greer yesterday afternoon when we didn’t know him. And he came over and told us that were beautiful people ourselves. He smiles at us, and we all smile without words for an absurd amount of time that seems commonplace in Barrow.
Calm Collected Container of Zen.
At the library today, Carinne, Jess and I have lost ourselves in books. And we’re tossing them around the table, and bringing ourselves collectively to tears over passages from Native American autobiographies, and becoming enraged at injustices recorded in Zinn’s “A People’s History,” and tying everything into our light knowledge of present day events around the world, but our strong feelings that we need a change in the way we all think about things. And the librarian sees what we’re reading, and stocks our book pile with fresh new reads that tie into it all.
And we’re spiraling, and winding each other up and realizing that we’ve got to do something. But we’ve also got to learn everything. And mostly, we’ve just got to keep talking about it all.
Tony walks over to our table with a lawyer, who we learn is a previous alum from our program– he did it five years ago. Now he works for Alaska Legal Services, he’s the guy I had heard about who works with all of the DV, SA and adoption cases out here. His job resembles a social worker very closely, and he works alone representing the whole North Slope Borough. And get this, he pulls out a University of Kansas library card, and tells me he’s from Perry, Kansas. Just an hour away from where I grew up. And he went to law school at Washburn Rural. And his Mom works for KU’s Watkins pharmacy in Lawrence. He has a 785 phone number!
Flabbergasted. What are the chances. Of course. My life is a trip right now, and I just can’t even comprehend it in its entirety. I see myself in moments, and do not have time to see it all at once.
But I’m trusting my intuition, and my in the moment decision making. Which has worked out pretty well for me thus far. And really, sometimes you see clearer when you trust in simplicity. And I’m following the obvious right now. And that has led me here, to the midnight sun.
There’s a really cool guy flying across the country today. He knows how to write like magic, and he’s really special to me.