This is a view of some mountains (whose official name I don’t know) from my apartment in Palmer, Alaska, in January, 2011.
(Back in 2015 & 2016 when I was especially sick with the mast cell disease — before anyone knew what mast cell disease was — I wrote the following incomplete, fictional story titled, “The Girl Next Door.” I’ll finish it if/when I can.)
“Here we are, come in,” I say to my two police escorts as I open the door and welcome them in. “Home, sweet home.”
Before they even get past the front door the young, hyperactive cop blurts out, “Okay, where is she?”
Huh, not much warm and fuzzy “welcome to my humble abode” time, I think to myself. “That’s where it gets a little tricky,” I say.
“What do you mean? Is she here, or isn’t she? If you lied about her, you’re going to be in for a world of hurt.”
“I didn’t lie, she is here,” I said, “uh ... just not in the way you think.”
“Do tell,” said the older policeman as he fingered some books on my bookshelf, looking around, studying everything. Those were the first words he said since we left the police station.
I paused. This is the part where nobody ever believes me, so I’ve found that it’s generally best not to talk about this at all. But when two policemen have you in handcuffs, my decision is more like, do I tell them fast — just blurt it out, or do I find some way to tell them about it slowly? I decide to try to explain it.
“Okay, here’s the deal,” I say, searching for my next words. I walk over to my dining room window and point with my cuffed hands. “Technically, she’s right over there.”
The young, hyper cop comes over and looks out the window. He sees that I’m pointing at a walkway between two buildings. He quickly turns and looks at me. “What kind of game are you playing?,” he asks, seemingly about ready to punch or strangle me.
“No game, sir. This is the thing: Have you ever read about parallel universes?”
“What the ...”
This is a view of the Rocky Mountains that are west and south of Boulder, Colorado. The apartment I lived in was located in the south/west area of Broomfield. There was actually a sign on the street in front of the apartments that said, “Welcome to Superior,” but somehow my apartment was in Broomfield.
Dateline: July 27, 2010, Wasilla, Alaska.
“It looks like she passed away around 4:30,” Al said, holding his neighbor’s just-deceased cat, and looking at the clock on the wall.
“No,” Neighbor #1 replies, wiping her eyes with her kleenex. “That clock doesn’t work. It’s almost 8:30.”
“Oh,” says Al, looking out the window of the second-floor apartment and seeing what appears to be afternoon light in the treetops. Funny how the Alaskan summer sun still throws the perception of time out of balance.
“Can you give us a ride to the hospital? My wife just cut her finger open,” yells unemployed car-less Neighbor #2, suddenly appearing at the open front door. His wife screams from somewhere down below. Neighbor #3, a former police deputy, instinctively gets up to help, but Neighbor #4 says, “I’ve got this one,” and hops off the couch and out the door behind #2. He looks comfortable in his shorts and t-shirt in the mid-40s temperature, as Al shivers.
As they run out the door, Neighbor #5, just home from her job at Carr’s, stands in the doorway, looks around, sees three neighbors and a dead cat in the apartment next to hers, and doesn’t seem to know what she should say or do ...
I just ran across this photo of my old apartment. I liked using a shoji screen to add a temporary “wall” in different spaces, and I used to keep Christmas lights going for most of the winter evenings, as shown.
I currently live in a small apartment (about 700 square feet), and when I work from home I like to run a small fan to keep the temperature consistent throughout the apartment space. My work area is near the windows, so in the summer it’s significantly warmer there than somewhere else, like the kitchen. I’ve gone through several fans trying to keep the temperature consistent, but they were all too noisy, and became a distraction while working, and they were even worse at night when watching television.
So I finally pried open my wallet and spent $99 on this “pureFlow QT7” fan by GreenTech Environmental. On its lowest setting it runs at ~13db, so I don’t hear it at all. During the day I run it on a setting of 3 or 4, and it’s still much quieter than a normal fan, and not distracting at all. At night I run it on a 1 or 2 and don’t hear it at all while watching television.
When I first moved to Talkeetna, I sat down to sign the lease with my new landlord. The conversation went like this:
Her: So, why are you moving to Alaska ... hunter?
Right-wing nut job?
You’re not here to write stories about the town for tv shows, like those Northern Exposure people, are you?
*she starts taking off her sweater*
*which I eventually realize is so that she can breast-feed her baby while we’re talking*
So why are you here?
I wake up at 3:40am, hearing something dripping. I follow the sound around the new apartment until I find that it’s coming from the refrigerator. Looking around, I don’t see any water on the floor, inside the refrigerator compartment, or in the freezer. My guess is that this is what it sounds like when it defrosts. I have a sip of water and go back to bed.
I wake up some time later. It’s bright, so I don’t want to open my eyes. I’m enjoying a comfortable rest, and the pillow and sheets smell fresh and clean.
Why is it so bright? I haven’t been here long, but I know that the Sun rises on the other side of the building, and my bedroom only get indirect light in the morning.
Without moving my body, I open my eyes and look around. I see enough to know that I’m in a hospital.
On this day a few years ago, when I first moved to Colorado, I was living in two hotels and an apartment, a by-product of moving here from Alaska, with all of my belongings in my car. (Little did I know it, but I would move again a month later.)
In my younger days this wasn't much of a problem. Unfortunately gravity seems to have increased significantly since the 1980s.