My Friend Named,…..

“One man can never have enough friends” said by Lola, my number one friend and confidant. She was just making dinner one day when I walked into the room with exciting news!”

“Hello” said by me, but followed it quickly up with, “How’s tricks, Lola” which seemed to fit nicely to the occasion, with her name being Lola, and mine being-

“What in the world are you doing?” was her first question for me, but the next had to do with the title of this blog. “What is the name of this friend?” She asked me with the question mark residing within the quotation marks, but I still wanted another piece of punctuation, but that was voted down with a resounding, “No!” also within its own quotation marks. The funny thing was something I had recently read, where the author used only a single quotation mark, but most likely had another name, and purpose? Lola then asked, ”

“Am I really the only witness, you have, when you finally have lost your mind?” to which I replied,”No, because you haven’t yet met my new friend.”

In walked, or rather limped a parrot with a decided limp to the left. I suggested that we turn in his direction, or he would soon be traveling in a circle, with the difficulties there of.

“You have a parrot?” asked Lola with a certain amount of doubt in her voice, but that might be due to her upbringing by those Heinous Canadian Gypsies, who failed to teach her how to act while greeting an authentic Alaskan Parrot! She then said,”

There is no such thing as an authentic Alaskan Parrot, which I didn’t put into quotation marks just to challenge others with their punctuation bold and brashness, but I wasn’t about to be bullied by that!

I countered her by saying, “Of course there is, or he wouldn’t be standing in front of you, while leaning to the right. That was him and not you! The man in Palmer Alaska, was just standing there, while I whistled a tune about white rabbits and the woman of mystery, who tended to them, when the man came up to me and said, “Hey Buddy. Come over here.” I looked to the left and the right, then I looked between my legs behind me, but suddenly, I felt him tap me on the shoulder and say “I can see by your curiosity that you are in the marked for an Authentic Alaskan Parrot, named,….”

“It seems you are a master at not naming names. I seem to recall a certain brother to another certain Vision Moose, whose name you failed to tell me about, just to drive me up the walls, where no self respecting parrot from Palmer, would dare show his beak!”

“I just turned to….and said, You see. I told you she would take a liking to you, and it didn’t take long at all! You haven’t even told her your name yet!”

Lola just crossed her arms, then sat down, and crossed her legs. I was getting the feeling that to use the word, “liking” was perhaps a bit too hopeful, with Lola’s body language telling me that she was “Closed” for business, or whatever they called that kind of thing in this section of Alaska?

“Well. The man told me that …..had come from a long line of parrots that could do tricks guaranteed to dazzle and amaze, while the people involved would most certainly want to name their, as yet unborn, children after this one in a million kind of parrot!” I said, “if I had children, other than Howie that is, I most certainly would consider, that…”

“Aren’t you getting tired of writing ……? Why don’t we just clear the air around here and hear what the poor lad’s name really is?”

We both just looked at him, and I said to Lola,,, She was the other person in this story, if any of you had forgotten that fact, and the funny thing about it was how we actually met one another. -” Why did you use commas back then?”, she asked me breaking my train of thought, but that would be obvious to those people wondering every time I wrote, …. Anyway, we were in Palmer Alaska about the same time looking to purchase our very own Authentic Alaskan Parrot, when she stepped on my toe trying to buy……before I did. Well, I wasn’t going to let any Canadian Gypsy Woman do that to me, so I took out my bag of tricks and,,,

“Were you Felix the Cat?” asked the woman whose disregard of my presence in Palmer Alaska at that point in time would make me wonder these many years later, how we managed to stay together despite-

“Despite what?” she asked, but she knew the answer as well as I did. It was our shared love for Authentic Alaskan Parrots that drove us together, but I said that she should be the one who had the honor of naming him!

She thought about it for a while before answering. “His name is…..”

“So you see Lola. You started me on using those ……instead of the real name, but now that the story has come full-circle, we might as well tell our faithful readers what his name really is…..”

Sorry about those….. I digressed a bit.

“Say it! OK! What is his name?” asked Lola whose face color was similar to his feathers, while he was out basking in the warmth of the fading heat of the Alaskan Summer, while

“Well, Healy of course! And I was really beginning to think,,,,

,,,,you’d never ask……!”

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Going Off in a Ruff!

Dad told my mom, we are moving to Fox River, but she wanted to know why we had to leave Healy in a ruff, as if,

but Lola stopped me saying, “ Ruff is not an English Word so if you want to further its meaning then,”

but my Mom only said, “Which femail Geologist have you sent your letter to, getting her gotten-ruffen in trouble?” which meant to me that Dad might have gotten into a Ruff with the unnamed woman, with us having to high-tail it out of town on a rail! That’s what Mom said, when I asked why we needed to leave the comforts of Healy, and move to an even more nondescript place like Fox River? Dad just said, “It’ll only be until the whole mess blows over”, but I wondered how strong those winds needed to be?!

We moved there one dark and lonely night when my Parents packed their rock hammers and Dad said, “I only hope the Alluvial Deposits are interesting enough”, which prompted my Mother to say, “We wouldn’t have to move in the first place, if you had considered my Alluvial Deposits first”, but that just started the whole argument over again!

“Were you parents ever on plain speaking terms, or did they only argue the live long day?”

“Well, that kind of depended if it was the winter or the summer. In the winter time they seemed to spend a lot of time cuddling and lighting each other’s fires, or whatever they called that kind of thing in Fox River, but in the summer, when the days were long and mom’s alluvial deposits weren’t as well-deposited as the woman down the street, then they had over 18 hours a day to “discuss” their differences by retreating to neutral corners, then raising their rock hammers and saluting, before they..”

-“but not to worry, because my mom used to say that my dad’s head was as hard as SiO2, while he just said that he knew she had a soft spot in her Talc Area, and wouldn’t hurt a hair on her…well, let’s just say they didn’t ever end up in the Emergency Room at Healy General, well not often anyway…”

Dad said we’d be there in no time, but Mom said, “Do you know how far it is from Healy down there?” Dad just laughed and said, “Well, then let’s just move Healy a bit closer and,

“Is that where you learned out to move towns from one place to another?” asked by the woman whose attention span was flexing like a rubber band as I wove yet another tale of My Life Story, as told by Myself!

We stopped off in Soldotna to “fill up the radiator and lose the kid” as my old man used to say, which is why those Canadian Gypsies found me and took me with them to-

“What Canadian Gypsies?” asked by the woman who knew all about Gypsies, having been stolen by them from her home in that largish country to the East of Alaska….Now what was it’s name again…..Don’t worry, it’ll come to me sooner or later….

“You are not going to tell me that we were in Soldotna at the same time, and that is the first time that we met each other? Are you?!”

“You know something Lola. When you yell like that, it really reminds me of my formative years growing up with my Dad, Fred Spar and his wife, whose name escapes me at the moment? Well, Fred Spar was a man that-

“Was that your father’s name? Fred? You never told me that before? And why Spar?”

“Well, it seems that when he first went out with my mom, they used to take their rock hammers, spending their time pounding each other’s….now what was it they called it back then….Well, it doesn’t matter now, does it? Well, my dad said Feldspar was the family name, but my mom being all out of breath and all after all of that pounding, thought my dad said, Fred Spar instead! Well, “-

“Don’t you have any idea what your “parents” were doing back then?” asked Lola, whose facial expression told me that this blog was spiraling down the Fox River towards Kachmak Bay, while you and I were just enjoying a Moose Shake in beautiful downtown Soldotna and staring into each other’s eyes telling each other funny stories about –

“Wait just a minute Mister! You were in the middle of at least 3 stories, then we ended up in Soldotna making Google Eyes with each other?”

“Well, we would have been doing other more interesting things, but the Gypsies were awfully strict about that kind of thing, so we had to settle for the “-

“I’ve told you before. We were not kidnapped by Gypsies. Neither Alaskan, nor Canadian Gypsies!

“Wow!! Canada!”

“That’s the Country, I’d forgotten the name of! Canada! Now what was so interesting about remembering that?”

“Well then. Let’s start all over again, shall we?”

“Dad told my mom, we are moving to Fox River, but…

Chapter 2 – Bunkworthy Jones

I had figured that by Caribou Back from Kotzebue a journey of some 14 days would get me close to me destination, when I doubted finding the correct path to Kobuk. My first port of call was the settlement of Kiana situated along the Kobuk River. It was one of peaceful contemplation, but I feared the solitude was about to be shattered, and the next events showed my fears to be true.

The winter frost had finally given way in the Far North. The frozen dam couldn’t take the strain anymore of millions of tons of water, surging around the ice-blockage, finally having been stopped by the sheer cliffs on either side of the narrow canyon, when the cracking and shattering sounds gave way to one tremendous….

The natives there, suggested finding an old Trapper, who had not been in the company of other White Men for as long as he could remember. He just rambled on about some Gal he once knew, or was it the last woman he laid back in Kotzebue at that little brothel, right next to the bakery at the edge of town? His comical speech, “Lola this, and Lola that” made me wonder what kind of woman she had really been, all those years ago, when his mind was just a bit clearer than the skies over the De Long Mountains, guarding the Northern Arctic from those who only wanted to take, but not give back to the Spirit of the North. The Great Spirit of the Arctic.

This woman, this sky spirit that men called Lola Selawik was no stranger to these wild and untamed parts in this corner of Alaska. She had traveled the length of the many rivers and climbed the highest points of the sky mountains, seeking inspiration and solitude, while the rivers surged and the sky boiled with upcoming storms.

I had read about someone like her, inhabiting the Far North, giving life and nourishment to her surroundings. The Caribou, the Moose, being her children all, when the night stars took, and the winds played a melody, not heard in the cities and the towns, restricted to the open spaces, the steeper sides of mountains unattainable, the lower canyons, where the trees almost couldn’t profess to belong, clinging as it were to the sides, the sheerness of another way of thinking. Of someone else’s thoughts.

It wasn’t that easy for me to find Bunkworthy Jones, better to say that he found me, what with him falling out of a nearby Sitka Spruce, spread-eagle upon me, as if I were a small white rabbit falling prey to a Cougar, a hunter of the wild! He finally accepted me enough to talk to me, with him being amazed to hear about the comings and goings outside his river home, what the world had come to, and where it was on the way towards. “Leave me to myself” he told me at last. “Me and my Lola are just fine here!”

There was, however, just him. No one called Lola, or indications of there ever being someone like that living in his ramshackle cottage of sorts with a granite slab providing the most stability, his world would ever come to know.

We just sat there, at his campfire shooting the breeze, when he stood up suddenly and pointed to the northeast:”Up there in the Desert. Kobuk Valley they call it. There is where you’ll find what you are looking for!” Then he just sat down again, and stirred up the coals as if nothing he just had said, ever existed.

That night and the ones that followed, a series of vivid dreams entered my consciousness, not unlike a wind that carried the sounds and scents of another place with it, changing my present landscape into something else, daring me to cross dry rivers and not fear drowning,  while someone beckoned to me from the other side. Standing on a dune of sorts. Towering dunes that surrounded my memories, locking them, sealing them into their own realities, while my own was altered, changed into something new, something old.

The next morning I found myself lying there next to the cold ashes, while the wind started blowing, telling me to follow it. Bunkworthy Jones just shook his head when asked if he would accompany me on my quest, with him giving way to his mutterings about rock demons and river spirits that would take and drown us sure as shooting! I finally convinced him to take me as far as his sanity would allow, and with that said and done, we broke camp and started out way up the Kobuk River Canyon.

What happened next would I be wary to relate to others, but I chose to do so all the same, in Chapter 3 – The parting of ways…

Treating Me Like I Was the Foreigner

And then he said, “Well, if the foreign shoe fits, then wear it!, but I protested, but he was better at arguing his case, and just up and threw me out of the window. Well, Bent, the owner of the Bent Antler called the Homer Police, seeing as how we were in Homer and all, and that’s how I ended up in the Hoosegow. The Pokey, you know with its questionable color schemes and colorful inhabitants. The officer in charge, who by the way was related to Wally of Wally’s Gun Emporium and Sushi Bar recognized me and asked if I was still seeing that crazy, Wacked-out Babe, who held the entire Police Force at Bay way back when at that bar, you know where we first me, and I could only say, “Uh huh”, because I wasn’t sure if at that moment in time was a good thing or a bad one?”

Lola just looked out of the window, and wondered if Mt Redoubt Stratovolcano needed a new roommate, because she might be in the market for a change of scenery, what with the trouble living next to, or actually nowhere close to the town of Homer….Alaska, depending on how and why anyone calculated distance on that small patch of earth called the Kenai Peninsula?

“I know, even before I ask you this next question, I’ll be regretting ever having asked it, but why did this fellow call you a foreigner?” asked by the woman, whose name stirred fear in most of the people, I knew, but got me out of a life in prison, the hoosegow, the Pokey..by just the mention of her name!

“Well, I just was having an Organic Cannabis Beer from the Wacked-Out Brewery of Soldotna…Alaska, when I showed the fellows this piece of paper.”

Anchorage Daily News

-with Armand saying, “I never knew you to be a foreigner before now!” and he just gave me an extra big hug, and offered to buy me a glass of Foreign Chablis!

I just shook my head, and said, “But I am an Alaskan, who lives in Alaska, and is in a relationship with an Alaskan!”, but Wally just said, “Who is she, and when do we get to meet her?” with the others just hitting each other over the heads with their authentic, American-Made Antlers from the Soldotna Antler Company, est. 1956.”

Armand said, “Maybe it was your Lola, who was the foreigner? Didn’t you say that she was kidnapped by Canadian Gypsies and….

“Did you tell your buddies that yarn about those Canadian Gypsies?”asked Lola incredulously, but not really surprised at all. Her indignation was an orchestrated attempt to show her disgust, but only showed her to react like other women that…

-Hey! Wait a minute. You with the keyboard! How do you get off by generalizing about women?-

….I, you, well, I tried to retract my last statement, but figuring that the damage was already done, I might as well whistle a little tune, and continue on about my business…..

“But you see Lola. I couldn’t even get into the Anchorage Daily News, because it accused me of being a foreigner! I never stepped on anyone’s GDPR’s Toes before, but suddenly there I was, being a foreign as those Canadian Friends, you seem to have, but not as foreign as it would make me lucky with women of that ilk, if that was important for me, which it is not!”

Lola just looked at him, dressed in his Prison Duds, waving his arms about, as if he had just flown the coop and was on the Lam from the Local Fuzz!

“Gosh Lola. Do you have anymore antiquated terms for describing my turmoil, or is it just “Mr Keyboard’s” way of changing the subject?”

Lola was silent, as she wondered where this blog began, what the original intent was behind it, and how in the world were they going to end it, without losing more credibility than they had in the course of the 670 odd words?

“Uh Lola. What about if we just say that this blog is over and done with and christen it with a bottle of champagne, not anything special, perhaps one of those cheaper types form Canada, or something then we can just go about our business, as if it never happened at all?”

“You know what?” said Lola as she watched me as I typed out the last words. “That is the best idea, you’ve had in a long time…

With her closing the curtain between me and them, but hesitating just a few seconds to give me her dirtiest and nastiest look, then sticking out her tongue…..then closing the curtain!!!

End of blog

 

Just a Little Pin Prick

“Gosh Lola. I don’t know if we really should get matching tattoos? What if there is a slip up and I remain disfigured for the rest of my natural life?”

Lola just looked at him before answering. “Your natural life? What is that?”

“Well. I could be walking down the street in, I don’t know, let’s say in Homer, Alaska and suddenly-”

….Suddenly someone will tell you, You don’t need to say Alaska, when  we live there….

-“and suddenly, someone from my dim past will be in my path saying “why oh why have you disfigured yourself? Why couldn’t you just have left the masterpiece like it was? How will I ever be able to touch you again, without thinking…”

…..who wouldn’t be able to touch you again?” asked Lola, but suddenly the scene faded to black and we see Lola Samoa standing on the ship’s deck, braving the onslaught of the storm like no other, then one of the men called out, “I told the rest of you, it were bad luck, bringing a woman onboard!” with the men muttering to themselves, while Lola only said, “If there be a man among you who has this! – Then rolling up her pant’s leg to reveal the most fabulous tattoo, they ever had seen in their lives depicting a ship surrounded by calm waters, an island with native girls beckoning them into their arms, their breasts revealed under their…

-but the man who had spoken before only said, “See How the Temptress has deceived you! See how her own body tempts and lure you closer! See what ruin she will bring us as we end up as flotsam and jetsam after she dashes us on the rocks of despair!”

“Gosh Lola. Pass me the popcorn, won’t you?”

But Lola’s eyes were glued to the scene unfolding before her. Never in her life had she possessed such a command of the situation, knowing exactly what to do, and who had to suffer at her hands so soft and warm to the touch, but strangling the man who only wanted to incite the others for their disbelief and…

“Uh Lola. I know you are an affectionate woman, but do your hands need to be around my neck when you are watching this film? ”

“Rally round me boys  and let’s throw the witch overboard!”

The men moved closer to Lola as her back was pressed up against the mast. Her eyes darting about, looking for something to save the day with, she lashed out with

“Just a little pin prick, there’ll be no more..Ah…But you may feel a little sick*

“Lola. Why don’t we reconsider those tattoos? There will always be time to do so another day, and you know that I come from a family of fainters?”

Her whip lashed out striking the leader with her own special mark. The man yelped in pain, revealing a homemade tattoo from her home somewhere in the Samoa Islands, where her people knew the meaning of the tattoo, and what power they possessed!

“Uh Lola, shouldn’t we be getting back home now? You know how I hate to run into the evening traffic on Highway 1. We might just as well guess the end of the movie, before..

Lola just turned toward the rest of the men saying” Well boys.. Is there another one among you who doubts our safe passage across these choppy seas, or….?”

The men filed off the stage, one by one and sat in the front rows wondering if it were too late to buy cinnamon-flavored buttered popcorn, or were their chances for that dashed on the rocks of her despair?

“I don’t know about you Lola, but this movie theater is becoming a bit too crowded for my taste! What say we…but then one of the men turned around and pointed at Lola, “There she be men. All gussied up and waiting to wreak havoc on the poor fellow beside her! Are we going to stand for that? ”

The men yelled out, “No” with a resounding shout, and they started to

“Lola. Wake up Dear. Giving her a bit of a nudge, but not expecting her to say, …”

“Hands off me you ruffians! I’ll let you feel the sting of my whip if any of you nears me and my tattoo!” and with that she lashed out at the men, as the storm in its fury, snapped the mast off just above her head, crushing them on the deck in one fell swoop!

Just then, the clouds parted, with us seeing Lola Samoa in her shining glory, being welcomed to the island, as the calm waters, and native girls beckoning her toward their, their…

“Don’t stop now” he yelled, as he was almost close enough to the native girls with their breasts being revealed under their, their…

“Just one more pin prick then your tattoo will be finished!” said Lola as she admired her own twin-creation of a ship, surrounded by calm waters, an island with native girls beckoning them into their arms, their breasts revealed under their…

“Ow!” he yelled as the final touches were made on his tattoo. A pair of coconuts that reminded him of, of…..

 

 

*Comfortably Numb. Songwriters: David Jon Gilmour / Roger Waters