Summers in Alaska

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I did a crazy thing for the Summer. A friend of mine I’ve known for almost 20 years bought a business. It’s a homemade ice cream shop. She asked me if I wanted to help out and offered to bring me on as a manager. I’ve worked in the service industry for about 12 years, so I felt qualified for this position. I accepted. I left Tucson, Arizona on May 1stand arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska that night. The exciting part was the ten-hour layover in Seattle, Washington. If you have the option to fly stand by, I would not do it unless you were not in a hurry.

Alaska will be nowhere near as hot as Tucson, but the Sun never really sets. It’s always daylight. There’s a bit of Twilight for about 45 minutes around midnight. Otherwise the Sun is out. I haven’t seen the moon since I got here. Another fun fact, the mosquitos here are bigger than average. I wouldn’t call them huge, but they’re everywhere. I’ll survive. I’m working so much that any bites I get I usually forget about. That’s the only downside so far. I’m sure my opinion will change later.

Now I manage an ice cream shop. I’ve learned how to properly dip and scoop ice cream like the pros. I hope to learn how to make the ice cream before the Summer’s over. There are lots of flavors and lots of combinations of flavors. I’m having fun, but every now and then we have small issues. I don’t mind dealing with issues, but they all happen in one day. Some days are more stressful than others. As the opening manager, I only deal with issues for a couple hours. The first half of my day is spent getting the shop ready to open. It gets busy after I leave. That makes me happy.

The space is small so once a crowd of people are there filling orders, I immediately want to leave. I don’t like being around a lot of people in a small space especially if I don’t know them well. It will get easier. I’m still having fun and that’s what’s important. Alaska is a beautiful place and the population of the whole state is less than the population of Tucson alone. I enjoy the small-town vibe. Unfortunately, I’m staying with my friend and her family and they live outside of town meaning everything is far away.

I’m only here until September. This should be an easier Summer. It’s not the first time I’ve been away from home for a Summer. Several years ago, I enlisted in the Arizona Army National Guard and went to Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training from April to September. This feels similar. At least the being away from home part. I don’t know if I’ll return next Summer. That depends how the rest of this adventure goes. I think I’ll have a good time, but I may not want to come back every year. That’s a bit much.

Poetry Monday: 108 Degrees Is Bullshit

People like to visit Tucson
In October, November
December, January, February
It’s beautiful and peaceful
And the weather is perfect
None of these people
Have the balls to stick around
During the summer
During the Monsoon

You know you’re hardcore
When you live here
Year-round in Tucson 
With the lizards, spiders
And all the assholes like me

From the poetry collection Men Are Garbage.

Poetry Monday: Han and Sage

An interesting pair they were
The saguaro cactus and the Gila monster
An odd couple like no other
But they met every week at the Tarantula Tavern
The saguaro’s name was Sage
She was bubbly and friendly
And gave everyone hugs
The monster’s name was Han
The quiet type and he sat
With his back to the wall
Han spoke to no one
As he waited with a drink
But would come animated and alive
In conversations with Sage
She was friendly and affectionate
Han hated everything
The pair would talk for hours
And despite his grumpy appearance
Han enjoyed his time with Sage
At the Tarantula Tavern in Tucson

From the poetry collection Men Are Garbage.