Like Calvin and Hobbes in a Sunday comic strip I’m striking out for the Yukon.
Actually, I’m flying to Alaska to meet a friend from college ( let’s call him …John b/c, well, that’s his name. what are the odds, right) to help him make the drive from AK to St. Louis where’s accepted a new job. He and his wife have been living in AK for about nine years now, I think it is, and finally decided it was time to move back down to the lower 48.
Maybe about 12 or so years ago I had the chance to move to Alaska with John. This was before he was married and I was just out of grad school. I had no real reason not to go, but I balked anyway. Not exactly sure why. Perhaps that shall be the subject of my therapy session today. We shall see…
Anyhoo…I’ve always regretted not taking John up on that earlier offer, even though he was there only about 6 months and I likely would not have stayed on my own, but you never know, right. I could have at least said I’d lived in Alaska for a time. With that in mind, I didn’t want to let this opportunity pass. Fortunately, I was able to get the time off work and my wife was more than understanding about the trip. In fact, she said she’d be pissed at me if I didn’t go, which makes me wonder if she’s just trying to get me out of the house. I wouldn’t be surprised — I learned along ago that I’m the kind of person that others need a break from, from time to time. And John was willing to use his frequent-flyer miles to pay my airfare because there is no way I could have afforded a ticket to Alaska right now.
So I’m pretty much all set. Just need to pack and be on my way. I’m not taking the laptop. If I do any writing it will be with the low-tech method of pen and paper, although John will have his so I may be able to post about my trip. Most of the trip is going to be about driving, though. But I will need something to read, especially since I have a more than three-hour layover in Salt Lake City. Originally, I thought to reread “Girl with Curious Hair,” by David Foster Wallace as well as J.D. Salinger’s “Nine Stories,” but then we got in the new edition of “On the Road.” This is the “original script,” the way it was before it had been edited. Apparently there was content that just couldn’t be pub’d at the time. But it’s in there now.
I have never read “On the Road,” if you can believe that. People are often surprised to discover that I haven’t read it. Not sure why. I guess I just seem like an “On the Road” kind of guy. I’ve tried to read it a few times but there was something about it that I just couldn’t get into. That happens to me with some books. But that was before. Now I think might be the right time to try again.
In any case, I’m now toggling between excitement and nervousness. I don’t travel much, especially on my own, especially on airplanes — my wife is the expert traveler. Hell, my daughter has logged more miles in the air than me, and she’s only soon to be 9. It’s kind of sad really. But that’s a subject for another navel-gazing post.