Friday, February 04, 2005

Goodbye and Godspeed Mr. Graham.

Top of the morning gents,

I sure miss the delicious smell of a freshly lit cigarette, brewing coffee, frosted windows, and the musty upstairs at the old city hall in Kotzebue.

Fuck, same sorry feeling when I walk past the NS Borough building over at old town site too. If you walk by at pert near at 8:45pm and 50 below you’ll see a subtle shift in the 2-month-old darkness that I fucking swear looks like some bearded college professor, long coat, and lit cigarette.

As stated before, you can smell your best mates, long after they fall off the edge of 60 lat. I ain’t superstitious, but the edge of the world is real, none of our favorite dudes ever return to the Arctic. Our lot in life is to re-read our diaries, snoop through our photo albums, and buy the same brands as our long lost friends.

He ain’t dead, but shit, he ain’t here neither; something about Alaskan retirements that feel very obituary. I worry the other world will forever keep our long gone number crunching spook from upstairs.

After all our friends retire and leave this miserable remote site so far north of the Arctic Circle, at least we can drink alone.

Shoot, seems the smell of cigs and coffee will have to do. I sure will miss ol’ man Graham.

Goddamn mental illness is quite habit forming. Fun too. Us narcs can take or leave bad habits with ease, but I’m scared to duplicate one of our best mates footsteps; retire and fly to warmer climes. Normals hate this vicious Arctic shit, and adjust easily back to normalcy where the weather and the thickheaded aborigines don’t bust your balls all goddamn century. Suppose that’s why I’ll likely see you boys ‘round these parts for a long time to come.

What I'm praying for; is that our mates that joined the retarded, I mean retired, fly back up here after they’ve wrapped up their never ending job of caring for their loved ones down yonder.

Don't count on it. Dumb fuckers don’t know that caring for our loved ones down yonder is a chore that has only one conclusion. The likely finale to family obligations is when we gotta stuff you in a pine box and pitch dirt on you.

I ain’t laying out 20K for a damn marble and granite coffin Mr. Graham, caskets are like Cheese-its Crackers; “get yer own box.”

Re-reading these notes after 30 years affirms, I early on adopted an isolative insanity from an alien culture, and that I’ll likely not live long if I choose to leave this blessed rurality. I have faith Tom will do just fine down yonder, south of 60.

(When you spot his retired ass marching towards Alaska Airlines, set the altimeter to spark your blasting cap at 10,000 feet. That'll keep his nasty bits north of 70 lat.)

We all promise our best mates we’ll keep in touch. Emails are sweet, but nothing beats a 3-hour impromptu bullshit sesh. Infrequent, yet unannounced visits are the best. No scripts, no preformed bitches or tirades, just good honest man-talk focusing on the big picture rich in post doctorate micro-economics, revenue recognition theory, and taxation impacts on existing price elasticity slopes.

Cigs, coffee, and long chats about historically funny, yet inevitably retarded city and borough administrations are the components to a friendship with our paymaster and controller I’m really fucking gonna miss.

The great Alaska brain drain is a slam at our brightest yet resented citizenry leaving the state for sweeter pussy, higher wages, cheaper beer, better champagne, and where all retarded bullshit native politics is relegated to a stinky turd reservation, far clear of the classroom and the office. Sounds nice eh?

You know how fun it is to recall great crimes with you boys in blue upstairs in the old squad room. Chatting with a CPA as smart as Tom is equally stimulating, but requires extensive knowledge of Public Admin theory.

Our discussions are usually centered on the regulations of grant funds and the inappropriate use of revenue streams from water/sewer customers to pay for enterprise fund projects, public safety, (or electrical cooperatives). That’s two clues about upcoming projects, you boys still with me?

You recognize the intellectual asset we’re losing?

It ain’t the goal of any Native corpse to hire the best organizational and quantitative analysis minds. Letting Tom leave our fucking state speaks volumes what quality of talent these Native corpses are really looking for; cheap and dense dark meat, otherwise, mere shareholders.

If you chaps are anywhere near the State of Minnesota, pay yer fucking respects and visit Mr. Graham. As an offering, pick him up a revolver or single malt, but don’t offer to pay for dinner and drinks, that son of bitch is loaded.

Next winter, I hope Mr. Graham thinks about all of us up here north of 70 lat, cuz I sure already miss him.

Mr. Graham, Godspeed and farewell.



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