Saturday, July 28, 2007

i am really not this down

reading my last post makes me sound all down on alaska, which isn't the case. at the same time, i'm not packing my bags to move here just yet. it's hard; things with the fisherman are really good but i don't love my work enviornment. (the work itself is fine, i have no problem with that.) i don't know that i've ever gotten along this well with someone. what i like about him is that when i do get fussy, when we do fight, we can do it big and loud for three minutes and then it's over. it's the same way we fight in my family, and i love that he never has to have the same conversation over and over again. you can actually resolve shit with him in one go. plus, he's cute and the making-out stuff is super rad. if you asked me to tell you exactly why i like him so much, why being with him makes going through all this other shit worthwhile i don't think i could give you a good answer. i'm not even sure i could make a good list, and lord knows i'm good at listing shit. there are things i don't like about him, sure, but they're small things. part of me doesn't want to talk too much about the whole boyfriend part of alaska, but that doesn't seem fair to you or even to me. the fisherman is a big part of this, and when he left and i came with it was simply because i wasn't ready for whatever we had going on to be over. i thought a few weeks on a boat would cure me and i could go home but it isn't that simple.

we might not grow up and get married and have kids, i might go home after this and we fail miserably at the whole long-distance thing, or we might have a good story to tell at family gatherings. he makes me happier than i thought was possible, and he makes me crazy in a way i've never experienced. this is the first time i've ever lived with a man, and with anyone else i think i would have killed them by now. we still share a stateroom, and that's saying something. in some ways it is a bit of an adjustment going from happy spinsterhood to this, but everyone is surprised at how well i'm doing, including my mother and the fisherman. being in a relationship with someone was never important enough for me to make any changes in my life, be they little or big. i never moved in with anyone, i never changed the way i did stuff, i never gave anyone the key to my apartment or let them drive my car. this is totally foreign to me in a lot of ways, but i think any new relationship with anyone is filled with uncharted terrain you have to navigate. for me, it's just a bigger area.

in conclusion, i'm not totally unhappy and mopey here. i think i'm suffering from a case of burn-out and needing to vent. this week hasn't been great, and neither was the last week i got to talk to you, but there have been good times in between. i'm curious what i'll think about all this in hindsight, but right now i'm glad i made this decision. if i could get off the boat tomorrow, i probably would, but it wouldn't change the way i feel about my fisherman or our relationship. if anything, i think it would make it better. i can't do that though, so i'm sucking it up for another month (fuck!) and making some more money.

*it might be another month. it could be two weeks. it could be in between. who knows? our plans literally changed three times today. every time i hike up the hill to use the port-o-pottie i come back to new information.

home in homer

gillnetter boat, originally uploaded by pinprick.

we're getting about 12 hours in homer before we head up to larsen bay to do some seine tendering. larsen bay is by kodiak, and i hear seine tendering is a lot more fun than tendering for gillnetters.

being away from the phone and internet for a month was hard. having no contact with the people i love sucked. it was harder than living in colorado in some ways; at least in colorado i could call home every day if i felt like it and send emails to friends. i felt pretty isolated. talking to my mom and sister last night on the phone cheered me up some, but at the same time it makes my homesickness sharper. i have these crazy vivid dreams about my people that make me not want to get out of bed some mornings.

i am most definitely tired of life on the boat. i quit once, even, i hated it so much, but the logistics of getting back to land and home were dizzying and so i sucked it up. i will never work on this boat again, i know that much for sure. i'm not sure if i'll ever work on any boat again, but i can say that once i get off this boat i'm never getting back on. to be frank, the captain and i don't quite get along. he doesn't get along with most people, true, but i have never been one to put up with petty bullshit for any length of time, and if this were a job i had in the real world i would have walked out ages ago. i think he might have some anger management issues. all i know is i think he's a dick and i want to be home.

on bad days i feel like i wasted this summer. on good days i think about all the amazing shit i've seen, including tiny little squid-lets swimming up toward our lights at night; they were no bigger than my pinky but flashing fierocious red and white, snatching up even tinier fish that were also attracted to the light. phosphorescent plankton is eerie and lovely, and when you drive through it in the boat it flashes like static electricity. puffins are both adorable and ridiculous. bristol bay is sort of a shit hole; everything is the same steely grey color and i'm glad to be out of there. shelikof straight is positively prehistoric with tall towers of striated rocks nestled between rolling hills of green. i've seen bears and seals and otters and huge schools of jellyfish. i've also gotten crazy seasick and spent a lot of time in my bunk wishing for death.

at the beginning i wondered if i would feel at home here right away, but i still find myself talking about my "real life" back home. parts of alaska are comfortable to me, like a certain fisherman and his family, but i think after this experience i'm going to need a few months to digest and decide if this is someplace i could live. i think on my terms i could do it, but not this way. love is a grand and stupid thing, but even i'm not that dumb. i'm not a fisherman, or fisherwoman, or even a very good deckhand. i could be good at waiting patiently at home and pining while going about my life, but as much as i love being on the ocean and waking up to the salty smell and falling asleep to the rocking, this is not my true vocation. i'm okay with that. my fisherman is okay with that. i have a beter understanding of what he does and why, and i think knowing exactly what he's going through when he's out here will help us in the long run (should there be one).

all i want right this second, though, is to get my check, go home, count my funds and make a plan for the future. i t urn 30 very soon and i know i had a list of things i wanted to do before that happened! i'd like to take a silversmithing class when i get home, i'd like to make plans to visit friends down south when it isn't crazy hot, i would even like to go back to colorado and see my friends there. i want to curl up on the couch with tiernan and comic books and see how huge henry is and goof around with jude. maggie is talking more and more, and even though pop is bald and grumpy i miss him too. i want to have a drink with my mom and sister and look at photos together and fall asleep knowing if i want to sleep in no one will yell at me. i feel burnt out and don't want to end up regarding this trip negatively when so many great things have happened out here. like george costanza i'm going to try to end it on a high note.

Friday, July 27, 2007

hi! hi! hi!

bambalito's, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i'm pretty sure it's been over a month since i posted. it's been that long since i had access to the world wide interweb, i know that. i also spent an entire month without touching land once! whoo! new amanda record.

still in alaska. hoping to have enough internet access tomorrow to write a real post, but just wanted you all to know that i am still alive, i have yet to throw my fisherman overboard, and have come to terms with the fact that i smell like fish constantly now. i miss you. i miss my bed, or at the very least the idea of a bed. i have a million things to tell you, none of which are hugely excited but some of them are fun stories. i'm still having fun, but i'm ready to come home. xoxoxo