A Week in Hell | By: Luke Richardson | | Category: Short Story - Adventure Bookmark and Share

A Week in Hell

A week in hell I figure I better take the time to really take it what in the Sam hell I am doing in pilot point, Alaska. Its amazing, funny almost how you can describe 50% of American people has a vaginal cleansing utility; the douchebag. Hell, I've met quite a few good guys out here, but I just so happened to be stuck with the worst fucking rock in the pile. I could be sleeping instead of writing but then again that would require darkness and there sure as hell ain't none of that 'round here. In one week I've managed to slice my finger, take orders from scrooge (he actually does look like scrooge, its sickening), cheat death and swamp through 3 ft of life threatening mud that brought my calf muscles to life to say the least. And on top of all that I get to have silent meals, a 200 year old trailer to "sleep" in and sponge down every month. I'm trying to figure out whether I'd rather be in Iraq, pilot point or prison. I figure they're all about the same. And its even worse when the happiest time I have here is when I'm off by myself, usually sneaking off with the calling card to make a quick call to whomever I deem luckiest. On the upside I'm sure Kent is weeping without me. There's a few things this hell hole has told me thus far: I'd rather be working 60 hour weeks in Kent, I came here 2 weeks too early and I have a serious problem liking people, or maybe its not my problem. When I'm not busy working on scrooge's tasks which top off with an average completion time of 16 seconds I actually get the chance to gaze off into some Alaskan water and think a bit. Same goes for the bed I sleep on at night. All day I keep thinking that maybe God struck some sort of blessing down to this portion of the Earth and blessed my phone with a little thing called service so that maybe when I check my phone 12 hours from wakeup I'll have a beloved text message! Well 7 days in a row God has failed me in that aspect. What can I do? The sad part is nothing, that's the answer to every question out here; nothing. Its funny, I came out here to maybe get away a bit and now all I can think of is marking the giant X on day 42 on the calendar in my mind. This guy's lucky to have a guy like me out here anyhow, I can't believe I take his shit. The other day he was using a saw and all I could think of was when it was gonna slip and lacerate his hand. Well it never happened, but I suppose there are 5 weeks left so never say never! Well I suppose this is the time when I say you never really know what you had till its gone. Eh, I don't know about that quote anymore. It seems like people use it more as a scapegoat nowadays. Just something they throw out there to clear their minds of what they really want to say. One things for sure, being away from the ones you love and the one that you realized you loved after you were already gone is no fun. Not that they won't be there when I get back but you get the point. So I lay here, whining my pussy ass off in bed writing a journal on my damn cellphone. I got the chance to sit on the beach today and I played baseball by myself with rocks, no glove, no bat, and no point. Its sickening how bored you can get in one place. You know its bad when you're digging through the sand looking for rocks because you're all out of "baseballs." Maybe I'm actually in a dream, maybe this is some kind of sick realm that I'm stuck in. Yeah, that's it. Maybe on day 8 I'll wake up I'll be back home, then I roll over and listen to Kylee snoring next me and I'll smile knowing that I'm not stuck on the northern most point of the earth. Why do they call it that anyway; pilot point? Maybe it's the last place on earth a pilot will actually fly. Anywhere else would be considered a vacation. I don't even like fish! I figure I should make that clear. Sometimes when I'm here I feel like I'm being punished; like this is some kind of toxic joke. And guys actually have the nerve and raw audacity to say "I love it out here," must be the seawater speaking, cause no human in their right mind could state that under oath if you catch my drift. What I love most is how someone can undermine someone so consciously, and in fact if you do it again "marv" I'm gonna have to snap your wrists you filthy animal. I haven't changed clothes since my arrival here in hell and I imagine I smell somewhere in between Oscar the grouch and Monkey's ass. I think the only good part about this place is leaving it, despite not yet having the luxury to adhere to that fantasy yet. Okay so maybe there are a FEW things that are alright. The weather can change in 15 minutes, to extremes. Sounds familiar, Seattle? The view is just about unbeatable and I don't have to spend any money. If it was just me out here I'd probably have a hell of a time, but that's not the case. I hate having to rant but I have no choice, its either that or watch the clock and I don't have a clock... Its finally dawned on me, this place is a toss up between either the beginning or ending of the world, which one... I don't think it matters and quite frankly, I don't really give a damn. Maybe God started here and worked his way up, or maybe society in all of its rich downfall will take its last breath here in Bristol bay. Its one or the other. I suppose that's all for now, but on a last note... " I am at ease in the arms of a woman, although now most of my days are spent alone, a thousand miles from the place I was born, but when she wakes me, she takes me... Back home."

When I thought one place couldn't reach down any deeper into prior reaching hell, I get to wakeup at 4 a.m. To probably do nothing. I can honestly say this is the only person on planet earth that I officially hate. There are stronger adjectives to describe him, but I'll save the time. Why the hell did I put myself in this situation? Cause if it were for the experience then I am an idiot. Maybe I should fake a serious injury and get airlifted out of this dump. Today I got to be daddy's son's little apprentice, like I could give a flying fuck about how to tie a fox hole knot. I thought his son coming might take his mouth elsewhere, wrong. In fact his son isn't much different, just a little pussier. I think I realized it today, this guy probably graduated at 114 pounds and has been bullied since he was 7, now he's gotta a little 'power' in his hands and he's off on some power tangent. Well two can play that game. Maybe tomorrow morning some fish ninja "accidentally" drilled 6 holes in the bottom of your precious vessel which I hope gets stolen. Is it illegal to hit old people, even if they deserve it? Because that's a risk I am willing to take. I thought about writing a book today, I thought I'd call it, "the meaning of life." Catchy, I know. I think in everyone's life, we set an object for ourselves. For some, it's a 9 story house, a stretch gallardo and their favorite bottle of aged Johnny walker whiskey. For me, and few others, I could some up my goal in one word; happiness. If, 60 years from now I can look back and say I was happy, I will be complete. We don't need "things" to be happy. Money only complicates things, creates stigmas among us and allows greed to overtake our sight. Before you know it you'll be putting your soul up for sale to make a dollar. Money makes your heart go numb and makes your mind sick. So my book would follow along some of those lines, it'll probably never happen, but one can dream. And that's exactly what I'll do, until next time...

Note to self: it's 7:58 a.m. And I just raced an eagle, I lost.

In a perfect world, man is free to do as he pleases. If he strives to live in the most primitive state of mind, than do he shall. If he chooses to roam the country looking for "the one" that do he shall. In such a utopian society, one can only hope for what comes next, rather than fear it. Today we live under a blanket of fear. In utter angst of what lies ahead. Some fret and flee because the idea of change frightens the flesh from their bones. Others embrace the change, allowing it to mold and reshape them. Some do neither, some isolate themselves and watch the change scare away and/or entrap others. In a perfect world is their change? And if so, why would you change? What do you change to, if from perfect? If today, everyone were to drop everything and do as they pleased occurred, would chaos reign? It would seem we live in a world based primarily on order. Once an interruption in the order takes place, chaos takes over. It seems the slightest error to interrupt life's homeostatic balance could throw everything off. So why doesn't it? If one little thing could send the world spinning, why has it happened yet? Or has it? Have we learned to let it happen and somehow adapt to it? It sure as hell does seem that way. The ice age, the death of Jesus Christ, the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 9/11... All these things are without a doubt chaotic in nature, so why have we recovered so naturally? Things like the chaos theory and the butterfly effect explain that a butterfly stirring in the air in Peking, china today can transform storm systems next month in new York. The slightest change could throw everything off. I don't know where all this is stemming from to be honest, maybe it's the strong winds outside that I can somehow feel inside. I just think the world has too much to offer than such a stereotypical and downright remedial life that we are entailed to follow. I don't think someone woke up one day and said, "hey I'm gonna go to school for 16 years then work 9 to 5 until I can't any longer, then I will retire and maybe take up fishing." if you look at it from that perspective it looks pretty sad, so why do 90% of us take that route? 99% of the Earth's oceans have been unexplored, a tribe was just discovered earlier this year for the first time in history- still living in the primal state. We have so much to accomplish on this damn planet and we seem to be wasting in hopes for something better in the afterlife. So we work our asses off for 60 years so we can hope for the best in heaven? That's not the way I intend to spend my short, short life here on earth. If I so feel the urge to climb a mountain, touch the sea floor, walk across the united states, or play golf on the moon, then I am going to, no questions asked. Too often we take advantage what life has to offer, and by living tedious and redundant lives we are only buying into life's stereotypical propaganda that we have been born into thinking. So when you are given the chance to "grab life by the reigns" don't think twice. Maybe I should have taken that advice a week ago when I made this conscious decision. I should be able to look back on my life with no regrets, but I suppose I can't mark the check in the box. What is a regret anyway? The ability to wish away a bad decision? That's not even logical. What's the point of regretting anyway, we can't change the past. Maybe it is because of that little part of our brains called our conscience. He is upstairs working 24 hours a day to make our lives a living hell. He constantly reminds to make good out of a bad situation. He tells us to tell the truth, say your prayers, and to feel bad when you do something bad. What if we had no conscience? What if every bad motive we had or every deviant act we produced was followed by nothing but a smile? That's the world I one day wish to inhabit. One day...

As the wind continues to prime the outside of my aluminum trailer, I sit bored on a floral patterned table cloth they deem a blanket. The pond behind the site is home to a family of ducks, or geese. They're pretty funny actually. I watched the two adult birds every action. The lead one would duck his head (no pun intended) in the water and the other adult would copy. It occurred for a good 10 minutes before I was unamused. That's where my entertainment tops off, watching geese dunk their heads in water, sad. The thin cloud cover and gusty spirits in the air do my boredom no justice. It only adds to the melancholy mindset I find myself lost in. Solitaire can only keep me focused for so long, in fact my vision is starting to blur. I sit in the trailer to avoid any human interaction I might face, for I'd rather be speaking to myself anyway. The ill minded jokes and soft satire that the "boss" presents me with makes me sick to my stomach. Sometimes throughout the day I'll try and see how many middle fingers I can flip this guy before he notices. 112 is the count so far for Wednesday. Maybe he doesn't see it, who cares. Its odd, in a week I have completed every possible task thrown at me and now I sit with nothing to do, how ironic. What's even more sad is that my work here depends on whether or not a fish feels the need to spawn downstream, maybe this year they choose not to spawn. One could only laugh. Man if only I could teleport. What would that entail? Moving billions of microscopic matter through time and space? Seems doable to me. I wish I was green sometimes. Picture a green guy walking down the corner of 5th and Pike. People would be scared shitless thinking that this guy could go hulk on them at any moment, now that's entertainment.

"Be silent; for there is great danger that you will immediately vomit up what you have not digested."

My position as a robot here at camp steadily increases and overwhelmingly lives up to its name. My words prove to be quite absent but my hands seemingly stay hard at work. Our last meal was home to no spoken word by a departing thank you on my behalf followed by no receptive answer in the latter. The awkward silence between the family an myself grows on, like I planted a seed of quietness on my arrival and have been watching it bloom ever since. Writing seems to be the only thing keeping my attentiveness high and mind free from reality. The boss' questions remain answered and secondary ones unposed. Silly how one can stare aimlessly out a kitchen window for an entire meal only to entice himself with each bite. Like his hot, box-made soup is frantically calling his name in an attempt to be forcefully swallowed. The wind continues to pound at my door, like a impatient mailman busy to deliver a package. Perhaps the wind wants in from the cold. A thin piece of glass and a lightly secured piece of aluminum screen pose the only physical barrier between myself and one of earth's powerful elements. With steady winds staying balanced at 40 mph and gusting near 60, my actions pertain only to the inside. I suppose I could leave, but I see no point. I managed to swipe a ginger ale from their precious collection of the neatly stacked beverage shelf. Atop that a few cheap Alaskan pale ales age behind an array of obstacles, possibly to obscure their presence from that of a nave wife. The light green grass and honey colored wheat grass blow freely in the wind, not a worry in sight. They don't fight the wind, don't run from it nor hide. Maybe some of us should take note from such a simple process. Maybe too many of us follow note too often, inevitably continuing to blend among their peers, not to show color amongst their grayscale classmates. Sometimes during meals I make an attempt at small talk, only to be shot down by emotionless, and sometimes ignorant responses. Thus only perpetuating the situation, widening the gap. I don't fit in around here, I don't think anyone does, how could you? Maybe he'll turn his operation awry, or maybe he'll start flipping sites and inevitably creating a monopoly of fishing perimeters amongst his fellow seamen. Hopefully a stigma will strengthen and he will be overshadowed with hate. I think most see what I see, a heartless old geek who seems to be nothing but mad at the world. Not to reiterate, but that thought of the four wheeler ride to the runway is starting to vigorously grow on me. As I sit and wait for the small Cessna to arrive at my wish, grinning ear to ear as I make my final leg of my journey from north to south, boarding the plane in triumphant spirit. Once again, until next time...

A funny line from my book, "he had no idea what he had done. His eyes were flat and dull. Soon lippoth and Adams were having a conversation that left cavanagh and kiley mystified. lippoth asked Adams if he wanted a smoke and lippoth said 'sure... I got some sandwiches. You want one? "

It made me laugh for once out here.

Today was a bit odd. While on the fishing site northeast of camp, a middle aged native man caught up to us on his fourwheeler. An odd colored grin painted onto his face, he proceeded to ask if "sea pups bite." we answered and he went on his way. About 35 minutes later as I was filling drinking water at a well I spotted the same man driving along the gravel road, this time with a sea otter tied gently to the front of his quad! All I could do was smile, it was damn near precious, weird, but precious. I got back to camp and explained to the 'boss' what I saw. He gave a blank stare and followed by saying, "good I hope he kills it." all I could think to myself is, this guy is not human. What would compel somebody to process that kind of thought? I just don't get it. On another note, I got to bathe today, the cleanliness made me feel almost high.

Amidst the able winds, the rain beats down from the heavens above. Like a release of emotion from the deities lurking down. The rain is god's way of showing that he is watching. Maybe he sickles down a little water to remind us to never give up hope. A quick reminder that we will forever be guided. The rain takes me back home. Its an intangible hint that becomes closer with the progressing time. Its like the smell of momma's warm, freshly baked apple pie that you can spell from an acre away. It's a little hint that tells us we're home. Some say the rain is the tears of the heavens. I don't think so. Why would the heavens be crying? If anything we should be the ones tossing water up to them. I think the rain is just a simple reminder, that's all. Unless you're a meteorologist, then it's just the last stage in the water cycle. At least tonight I can sleep at ease, as the rain beats on the cheaply engineered tin can that I continue to dwell in.

2:21 a.m. I am awoken from a dead sleep to the words, "lets go fishing." we caught one medium sized salmon, two flounders and a plethora of sea scum. The long 'day' halted promptly around 11 o'clock a.m. To the sight of low water, ice-cut waves and the sound of blood hungry mosquitoes whizzing in, around and about my ear drum. I pull over my hood and cover my face in a dire attempt to make the microscopic bug flee in confusion, it doesn't work. After taking orders for the candidate of don't wake daddy and his loyal sidekick mama's boy, I head down the beach, doing a 35 mph lonesome haul to the camp. I bathed in a tub of abrasive sea salt, cloudy water and mud to clean what would be my first and last use of 'critical' fishing gear. I head to the kitchen for a routine meal: poorly cooked French toast and 3 measly, over roasted weenies, an oh so appetizing combination. I wash down the last of my powder made milk and let it quench my salt ridden windpipe. My short hike back to the trailer would be overshadowed by the rat I even dare to call a boss. The door closes behind the both of us and the quick discussion about my future in Alaska took forth. His poor and better yet wimpy evidence of my lack of work ethic and self-endangerment would be defended by my self confidence, humbleness and sheer effort to shut this old man's mouth. I see no point in arguing over a free trip home from hell. It was almost too perfect of timing, I was on the verge of complete exhaustion, disgust and downright hatred. I was beginning to crack, like a new professor surrounded by a room full of empty faces. The egg I deem my brain was oozing yolk and I was freed from my shell. I couldn't have asked for a better departure. I hopped on the three wheeler in every attempt to break whatever I could on it, down to the runway to make my last call home. Filled with two extreme emotions, I had trouble deciphering between anger and joy. Mad at those who used me for cheap labor and sucked two weeks of my summer dry, yet happier then hell with them that we would shortly be separating paths. I kept a stoneface stuck to my person for the next hour. Hell, by that time I was already home in my head. Bags packed within the 10 minute mark, cleanly shaven and ready to make my last leg of my journey home, I boarded the Cessna 920c and gave pilot point the biggest, most stern middle finger this side of the Mississippi has seen. Now I await in anchorage, 48 hours without sleep, yet awake as ever as my summer of 2008 takes the best turn yet. I sip my venti caramel macciato through the tall green straw and watch the clouds pass by through the large, doubled pane windows. One of them seems to resemble a harpoon stricken whale, whatever that means. I begin my ascent in to yonder, my eyes fixated on the heavy blanket of white condensed water. The only thing separating me from complete nirvana and a total loss of "feet to the ground" so to speak is gravity. The long wings flutter in the wind, as if they were weightless, shifting and flapping like those of a sparrow. The mountains are just small piles of granite about the size of my cuticle. I find myself at total ease, my innocent mind wanders as I wonder odd things like how man came from the discovery of fire to the engineering of a 737-400 Combi complete with four emergency exits, 2 in the front and 2 in the rear. My ears are plugged, my stomach growls for something to soothe its anguish; although from a survival state of mind, the human body can go only 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, yet 3 weeks without food. I am fatigued, in the delirious stage almost. My brain yearns for more caffeine to stay awake. The sight of light at near midnight is no surprise as we make our way south at 36,000 feet, dicing through the air like the sail fin of a marlin through water. Many of those have gone to sleep, off in their own hallucinogenic state of mind, dreaming the untold and imagining themselves in situations unheard of. I keep awake, the thought of home pours through my neurotransmitters, in spite of all that has occurred, I keep my thoughts stable and a clear, open mind. I'm relaxed, level headed and ready to embark on my next adventure. Maybe the next one will be fulfilling, maybe not... Perhaps I will figure it out when I get there or perhaps I never will. Until next time...

Now that my journal has reached its finite end I suppose I should share some kind of lesson learned, one to be passed on, one with a little "rev run esque." if this little experience has told me anything, it is to always be true to yourself. Your wisdom is far beyond your years and your confidence, although appealingly cocky keeps your head straight and chin high. Allow others to embrace your presence, although not to shower them with your insight. When man and wilderness collide, the clash is never victorious by man. Nature has a never ending amount of energy and will stop at nothing. When man and man collide, the battle will rage till one's spirit is diminished, if not forgotten. Butting heads is one thing, getting into ones head is another, and I think I achieved just that. Me being able to infiltrate and further push the right buttons to make another human buckle worked perfectly. Some may see my situation as a loss, but on the contrary... Any situation you come out of with a new train of thought is triumphant. Win or lose isn't the goal, it's about how you got there. Life isn't about the beginning or end, it is about the ride for Christ sake! People say that they overcome obstacles throughout their lives, to make something better of it. I say the obstacles are our lives! Without them we are nothing. If we hit no traffic signal or stop sign we are bound to crash at one point or another. When you do is a different story. Life is about learning to see the bumps and stalls before they get the best of you, then find the best route through, in or around them. I say the best time in a man's life is when he realizes that everything you come across is a challenge. That's the beauty of it. We are blessed with the ability to seek change and to do so accordingly. If man stayed concrete, divergent of dynamic emotion, he would remain a concrete actor in life's game. If life gives you lemons (or in my case, lake filtered lemonade) then well you know the rest. To embody change, adapt to it and to further utilize it is the greatest victory there is. One may not realize doing so, but deep down he knows. The feeling is greater than winning a fight, overcoming a fear or catching a game winning walk off homerun at the end of the warning track. To embrace life is to live life and to live life is to love it. If we focus on all the negatives that life has to offer, we'll never get to enjoy that very ride we are stuck on to the very end. And on this ride everyone is eligible; fat, skinny, tall and short. There is no harness for this ride and the boundaries are limitless. I intend to ride this one out until the very end and to those of you who have the opportunity to stumble across this nonsense, I'd suggest much of the same for you. The opportunities are limitless and the chances to conquer them are even greater. So go out there, take a risk and maybe you'll win, maybe you'll lose but just remember... It's all about the ride...

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