Thursday, February 17, 2005

Fear and stress are more addictive than any alphabet soup of narcotics.

Top of the morning gents,

I remember a phrase from our dearly departed Trooper Nay, "90% boredom, 10% sheer terror."

He was lecturing me why a career in policy enforcement may not be my cup of tea. He also recommended I put my irritatingly sharp wit to better purposes. He asserted that I was designed for the opposite, 10% boredom, 90% sheer terror. And he wasn’t jerking my dick, nor blowing hot gasses up my dress.

Some evenings in his office we'd chat about all sorts of things. I already delivered my warrant arrestees to the jail, courtroom, and the public defenders office, leaving a half a day to kill until my flight back to Kiana departed.

On the days Trooper Dial was due to go wheels up to get some flight time in, assist in aerial recon for Search and Rescue, or simply to make sure my dumb ass left Kotzebue, I'd ride along with him.

Despite the stern notoriety these chaps were famous for, both of them were wonderful conversationalists. No shit, my most memorable experiences of remote Alaska were long talks over coffee and cigarettes with coppers. This includes you boys.

Mind you, any occupation I endeavor is counterfeit at best. I don't qualify to be an effective criminal or grifter, or a jailer, narc, or VPSO. These are all avenues I found appealing and all contribute to the composite, yet not structurally integral hyperactive story teller that annoys you murderous bastards daily.

Since the career finds the man, not the other way around, I throw precognition to the wind and let fate guide my resume. If any of you wonder why I can't stay in one city, village, or country for longer than 5 years, well, it's my nature. My literary contributions would sound contrived and artificial, had these experiences been made up, or pulled outa my ass.

The most vivid experiences I recall were all framed in Kim Nay's 10% sheer terror. I'm not one to get bored, cuz that would be an insult to my creativity.

Sheer terror is one way to describe the stress that I find relaxing. If I'm not engaging in scary shit, then I create disasters that evoke the excitement my hyperactivity thrives on. No shit, after only a few months arriving here in Barrow, I found myself longing for the thrill of operating effectively under extraordinary stress.

Wouldn't you know? Logan phones me and demands I assist him in flying shit loads of illegal liquor and pot through the Brooks Range all the way north of 70 lat, here in Barrow.

Flying with a severely stoned and unlicensed pilot, in junker planes satisfied my addiction. If we ‘d crashed, you boys would've likely assumed I was back smuggling contraband in and out of the Baltics and Russia.

I ain't alone in my addiction to overwhelming stress and fear of violence and death. I have a sneaking feeling I have company, you lot.

Way back about 30 years, I stoked my addiction to excitement with public performances. Hours before rehearsals or auditions, I'd be stinking of fear. It's pretty scary to play duets on stage in front of a large audience.

I had a secret weapon that none of you had; extremely talented siblings. Hence my duets, trios, and quartets up on stage were almost always composed of my own kin. The family of child prodigy Finns I left decades ago.

My sister Moira and I would practice horribly complex orchestral pieces over and over until our mum agreed we had the fucker nailed down and wired tight. You sorry bastards missed out, my mum was more than a drill sergeant, she was also our coach, chauffeur, and conductor.

As the performance date neared, I started stressing out. This gave me a boner, but also fueled our desire to truly master the piece of Baroque shit my sister and I were requested to play.

Setting up behind the curtains took considerable self-control. We'd hear the audience pile in, and shuffle chairs. Then Mr. Freng or Mrs. Dezell would do all the introductions and explain the evening's program to the audience while my sister and I would quietly check our tuning and sheet music. All the while we'd fidget and fuss over our all-black attire.

This is scary shit for junior high school kids.

Moments before the curtains swept aside and stage lights clacked on, my sister Moira would give me that 'look.' It could be a subtle nod, or a sly smile, but it did wonders for my acid burning armpit stinking stress. The moment we'd simultaneously draw our bows across our strings, we were in our zone.

Years later, we all took a shot at positions with other symphonies and orchestras. We're talking top shelf productions that toured Europe.

My oldest sister auditioned and was accepted a few years ahead of us, which meant Thea and I had to go it alone. Yup, she and I had to practice the living shit out even more complex sheet music, Classical music no less.

The music we had to nail down was a real bitch. We were to master pieces composed for three different criteria; concert band, choir, and then symphony. Concert band included loud brass and symphonies were grounded in woodwinds, percussion, and stringed instruments. Three different historical eras, and three separate performances with my sister and I obligated to play for all them.

The expectations for us were far beyond my adolescent nightmares. This is hard shit dudes. I still wonder why my folks pushed us so fucking hard. I don't regret a bit of it.

It's just a pity there weren't more parents like mine. See where I'm headed?

It was obvious most mortal humans couldn't hold a candle to my sibling's academic and extra-testicular pursuits, but Cully and I sure wished our parents were alcoholic divorcees allowing us more time to practice farm yard devices of detonation. As stated before, every single one of our friends came from broken homes; divorced, deceased, or diseased fathers equated by my parents as 'homeless.'

A home without a strict father and a pushy mother ain't a home, hence why so many of my very best pals waited and played in the goats pasture while Cully and I had to finish practicing, and our chores.

Bright kids aren't treated as fairly as dummer neighbors, my brother and I did our morning paper route, milked and fed the goats, then went to school. Do the math. We had to be out the door at 4:30am, back home for chores by 6:30, then off to school by 7:30. Some days we'd run late and skip showers, hence the nickname "goat herder." I ain't kidding, me and Cully could sure stink up a storm.

Like your author on drugs, my brother Cully continued live performances with various bands playing for various bars all over Seattle.

I never ceased my addiction to stress.

We loaded up the vans with amps and instruments, overhead projectors and psycho-tronic slides, and raced to the venue on the schedule.

Set up and tear down has to follow strict protocol and procedure to avoid feedback and phantom hum. Larson, Scott Wade and I chased and layed out cable, then duct taped them in bundles flat to the stage. Loren and Cully were responsible for plug in and tuning, while Mike Peterson was the sole agent of drum set up and assembly.

If we didn't get finished on time, drunk customers and skanky cunts would pester us and get in the way. This was an early lesson in alcohol abuse. I had yet to experience drunk monkey fucking natives.

Once all the equipment was in place, we'd sneak out to one of the vans to get stoned, powder our beaks, and down a few brews. Ya see, like our instruments, we had to get tuned up too. Now you see the niche I carved out for my best mates; supplicant of expensive candy. Fuck you.

Despite doling out a shit load of free powders and the such, I more than made up for this with the profits I yielded vending my toxins to the hundreds of customers in the bar, while my crew whaled out some seriously offensive guitar shred werks on stage.

This niche also cost me my residence. As the drug business fell further below the radar and beyond the reach of common sense, my competition became more and more intimidating. As the years passed, bar owners preferred their own in-house drug dealers, not the handsome felon that double dutied as stage tech support.

More and more, it was recommended that I leave my product in the vans. That is, if we wanted more gigs in the future. Ya see, the bar owners didn't ask me nicely.

As my pals all went to jail, rehab, shot their best friends, or committed suicide, I started feeling unwanted in of all places, the Killing Fields of the Pacific Northwest.

I may be a quick study, but I'm a stubborn dumbass too. I refused to accept the notion that all the death and destruction surrounding me was a result of my happy ass addiction to selling wholesale volumes of illegal firearms, cocaine, and the souls of lesser life forms.

When the new year of 1989 opened with my own brother shooting his best friend, and Keely blowing his brains out in my front yard, I started getting a fucking clue. When I submitted to a pistol whipping and thorough ass kicking at Franky's house, Higman's offer to move up to Kotzebue didn't seem so far away after all.

Did I ever tell you I'm a dumbass? I am.

Akin to the phrase, "out of the pan and into the fire", Kotzebue seemed like a geography and culture inverse to my artful dodger logic.

I'd never seen a whole reservation full of drunk fuck ups, outside of Tulalip and Puyallup. All my customers in Seattle were single folks, none parents.

This realization soon started eating at me. I have a conscience too, just not when children are absent. Seeing and visiting so many native puke shacks and party dumps upset me greatly. Namely cuz these druggers and drinkers were also parents, implying children were always underfoot, sooner to be underground.

The party is always over, when all the dealers are white trash niggers, and the customers are congenitally impaired ice nigger trash. Oh, and when kids are present.

Do see the epiphany I was soon to experience?

The circle would now be complete. I would find myself chatting with violent coppers and extraordinarily violent recruiters, namely Columbo, Nay, and Westlake. The double o' seven jokes from Dean sank in, and hard.

Who in their right mind would volunteer to follow orders from uniformed killers and vicious boys in blue?

Also, who in their right mind would volunteer for a 2-year narc op job, and for free?

Present company included, ain't no right minded folks anywhere nearby, as far as I can tell.

Ya see, my addiction isn't to any lame substance or silly beverages, my addiction is to stress, and fear.

You boys have no clue how scary it is to put all my trust into the hands of a bunch of sinister coppers. But I did anyway.

I wasn't disappointed. During all my discussions with my targets manifold and clients plethora, I truly believed you boys were laying low behind your rifles observing and monitoring all our conversational discourse.

Simply knowing Waller and Westlake, Columbo and Nay were my lethal backup, my stress dissipated and I felt free to boldly negotiate and schedule drug deals larger than any of the gigs I pulled off down yonder in the lesser 48.

On the scheduled evening I was to meet the Capones at Drake's Camp, I strolled down to the trooper office, stripped down to bare chest while Nolton and Nay wired me for bear. Those two did a tremendous job of calming and encouraging me.

I then walked on foot from the trooper office to Ken Hall's place, popped in for a brief chat, whereupon Chris Ciringione drove me to Drake's.

I maintained steady chatter by commenting on various assholes living at addresses that indicated our route and arrival. This was likely more stressful than any goddamned audition or performance.

But this time, I had a secret weapon: a crew of covertly concealed, yet extremely lethal cops covering my 6, and insuring that in case of another bloody gun battle, I'd be the sole survivor.

We never outgrow our security blanket. A metaphor for you lot, this crew of horribly violent killers, that backed me when I was bait on a hook.

Don't think I don't appreciate that.

I do, and I'm truly thankful.

If you think for a second I've recovered from my addiction to fear and stress, yer dummer'n I thought.

If things go well for me, we may read about another covert job where this feral Finn tangles it up with another batch of criminals.

As long as you murderous mother fuckers are more violent than the crooks I'm ensnaring, I'll live a long and stressful life.

Who the fuck am I kidding?

Like all my childhood pals that are all gone now, I just pray I don't outlive this crew of uniformed felons, you boys.

The thought of missing you lot is unbearable.

Karl.

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