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In love with words? Passage Picker is for you. Click the arrows to read. When you think, “Yeah, that’s it.” Click “Pick Me.” You’ll be whisked off to your mystery book.
Albert Jack Morgan of Sunrise City reportedly killed a man when he mistakenly mistook Morgan’s wife for a prostitute. The blow Morgan delivered hit the man so hard, it broke his neck. The general consensus of the community was that “the drunken fool had it coming” and nothing further came of it.
When you traverse that expanse, the infinite becomes finite, a quantifiable thing. It can be measured by miles, and minutes, and days. Mostly it can be measured by moments savored. And by moments when the razor-edged knife between life and death presses against the thin membrane of your own existence.
The moose takes note of my presence and returns to stripping newly washed leaves from willow branches. The deadly force with which I was willing to protect my young will dissipate once again into respectful awareness. Both our offspring have found other glades in which to play. And this time, I will leave the gun at home.
His fingers are tough as raven’s feet. Before falling asleep on the floor, he repairs his cracked fingernails with Super Glue. When he melts plastic tubing with a torch to prepare his frost tubes, he quenches the end with his fingertips. His feet seem to have the same indifference. A few nights ago he burst outside the Unalakleet school gym in bare feet, stepping on metal grating to get a picture of the moon. It was 10 below.
Here at the Yukon River, after 74 days and 447 miles on the trail, Jane has reverted to puppyhood. Her chocolate nostrils are constantly flexing east and west. Her blurry tail threatens to lift her airborne. The smell of a snowshoe hare and the silhouette of a ptarmigan are daily sensations. She revisits scents and images of wild Alaska….
I turned the bike off the road onto a slender path between two hills. I stopped where the three-wheelers had just a week earlier. I realized as I killed the engine that I was still stalking the old Aleut women, regardless of their failure to leave bathroom messages all over town. I almost didn’t go. In the hard silence after shutting off the motor, I was suddenly scared and I couldn’t say why. But I also felt that if I didn’t go, I would always wonder, always regret.
When my cousin George started commercial fishing in 1954, it was still possible with a very small boat and motor, a few supplies, and a couple trolling poles or a gillnet to survive, moving up to better outfits as you were able. That’s hardly possible now. However, I believe that in a commons the stubborn will survive, just as small fishermen always have, maybe by working at something in the winter, or you borrow money and buy permits and various types of gear, or lease quota for various fisheries at incredible prices and chain yourself to loans. You are now a so-called part-time fisherman-: a gillnetter/longliner, or a Dungie crabber/winter troller, or even a summer troller/winter trawler crew–at least you’re out there fishing.