AKA 7000 Penguins Die in Mystery Stampede – from the personal journal of The Thinking Viking during a summer in Alaska
What follows and in following posts in this category are excerpts from my hand written journal, cobbled together with hazy and sometimes crystal clear memories. It’s a view into life in 1990 from my own youthful pencil and my current mind commenting.
You really should start from the beginning – no really, you should.
Summer, 1990 Petersburg, AK – Mitkof island
At this point, I’m not having much fun. No regular work, broke, hanging with others in the same situation in Tent City. Bunch of 18-30 dudes hanging out in a camp in the muskeg. Handful of women, handful of Mexican migrants. Bears. Bugs. Cheap beer and long days, Northern lights – the sun sets behind one side of the mountain across the strait and rises on the other side. Every morning a chorus of travel alarms starts up as those who have started work wake for their day’s labor.
“July 1 1990 – Sunday – beer and a valium last night, thus my dreams and late sleep. It rained all night, too. Not much else to report. Erica is dead (ed: Erica was this HUGE spider plant I had left with Mom to care for. Mom “kinda forgot” to water it. I had just heard the news) I’m not in a very good mood. I have a sign on the tent saying “GO AWAY” and I mean it. Queensryche will have to do, Metallica got eaten (for my younger readers, cassette tapes would sometimes get fouled in the tape deck and ruined hence “eaten”) . Watch the news. I am finally unhappy with my lot.
<skipping the rest of this day, except to note, I did fifty push-ups and Ted showed up with beer>
July 2 – Monday -Nothing to do. slept in. Still at Day Labor. applied at Chatham Straights today w/Ted. Fuck it. Goodnight I’m very tired. Dammit my tablet is wet. Why? (writing is very faint – pencils on wet paper don’t do well)
July 3 (skipping – two pages of weird dreams, but I will point out that I was upset that my alarm interrupted dreamtime)
July 4 – Wednesday Good morning you bum!
7:00 PM dined on an apple, rice, two well baked potatoes. there will probably be some big festivities tonight down at the beach – do I join or not? Knowing myself, I probably will.”
That night we had a bonfire on the beach, northern lights for fireworks, fresh fish and clam bake, PBR and Raineer flowed freely. A chick with a shaved head drunkenly and very boldly propositioned me. I won’t elaborate.
Anyhow, on to the next day….
“July 5 – restrained myself ..to some extent. Got a job today. I’m washing dishes at the Homestead Cafe – not a bad place but…forget it, I need the money.
Ted says”Today I’m some, tomorrow I’ll be more, and the next day I’ll be richer than poor.” Say WHAT? Well, that’s Ted.
July 6th- 6:00 AM gotta work at 7:00 slept like shit
Got a $15 advance at work today bought food, glory be! “Nothing is ever really gone, only absent for a while” – says Bruce. Once again, I’m in the Homestead Cafe, sitting down – finally with obviously bruce, Steph and Ted. Bruce says he just got God’s autograph and told me to fuck off. Just found a cold, unopened “Lucky” in the john on the window ledge – 1st time I’ve really checked the beer up there for some possibly drug-induced reason…NO MECH BEFORE BED Axyl has “found them” whatever that means.”
( sometimes my text trails off into gibberish – I often finished entries in the tent as I fell asleep, pretty sure that happened here.)
July 7 Overslept and I am no longer working. Hell, still I’ve made $55 it should tide me over. Cooking rice on a campfire promises to be time consuming process, but it should result in excellent rice.
Where’s the beef? It remains a vital part of the sacred choa, yet still the beefeaters consider it food for thought about the unreal halibut steaks. Steak? Did someone say steak? God, a fucking steak would rule of thumb is ten minutes to hand-bail and I bailed those fuckers for almost twenty four hours in a day and has them one-thumb and that is the main, out of sight out of mind I always say when it gets dark and I can’t see, I have not brought my specs with me to Mars.
July 8 – slept – happily until after noon, is now near 8 PM, I’m having a peanut butter and jelly – did nothing all day. It’s fucking raining again.Ben’s sitting here making a hammer handle, he has used two quarts to wedge the hammer handle . Marilyn is also writing something in some sort of book, much like this one. Some stupid fuck who I have seen before is incompetently splitting word and fire building. Someone else just split a bunch of wood and did a muck better job. Joe’s smoking a cigarette. Ted’s babbling at another fire about his schizophrenia as usual – sex, drugs, D&D and schizophrenia is all he talks about. Fire’s seriously starting to burn. Joes smoking again “Whenever I feel like it” he says. ”
The rest of the page is a truly insane dream I had. I still have this super-vivid dreams, but I no longer write them down. I’ve since learned I am a “lucid” dreamer and that I am partially awake when they get weird like that – sleeping in broad daylight with activity around spawned most of it while I was in Alaska that summer. I read a little ahead, things are going to get interesting – about to meet my girlfriend-for-the-summer.