Thursday, August 7, 2014

midnight drive

stay out super late tonight picking apples, making pies
put a little something in our lemonade and take it with us
we're half awake in a fake empire
we're half awake in a fake empire

Once in a while a friend will call me up and asked me if I wanted to go for a late night drive.

The good thing about living in the Arctic is that with the permanent daylight you can go on road trips at midnight because you feel like you have an unlimited amount of energy. The bad thing about living in the Arctic is that if you've only got a truck, eventually you run out of places you can go.  You drive as far as one road will take you, and when that road ends or becomes too rough for your truck, you turn around and head back to town and then take a different road that leads out of town until eventually you've run out of roads and you're back in the same town.

It has the curious feeling, sometimes, of being a goldfish circling around in a glass bowl, a very beautiful glass bowl.  Eventually we just drive around town, looking for a store that's open late at night so we can buy some snacks.  There aren't any stores open - they all close at 11 at the latest -  but we convince the owner of one of the stores to open up again just long enough for us to grab a pop and a freezie. I slice my freezie open with the pocketknife I keep in my purse and we go back to driving.

We drove down Water Lake Road, around Gravel Pit, past the DEW line to the road to Ferguson Lake, talking about life.  I have found that life in the north has been one of extremes, constantly fluctuating between intense happiness and sadness, between excitement and boredom, between frigid cold and uncomfortable heat, and rarely resting in between. Like a road trip that leads nowhere but back to town again, but filled with beautiful landscape views along the way.  It can be exhausting but it makes me feel alive all the time. The world of the north is both at once small and endless. .

turn the light out say goodnight, no thinking for a little while
let's not try to figure out everything at once
it's hard to keep track of you falling through the sky
we're half awake in a fake empire

-The National