Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In The Dark

Let’s face it; being from Alaska is a novelty.  I doubt whether people from Nevada or Kansas or even Maine get asked some of the ridiculous questions we Alaskans do when we travel. 

Alaska, huh?  Do you live in an igloo?”

“You’re from Alaska?  Do you eat whale blubber?”

Alaska?  Wow!  Do they have roads up there?”

I mean, seriously. 

As amusing (or insulting) as these questions can be, my least favorite is, “Isn’t it, like, dark 24 hours a day up there in the winter?”

I think that ridiculous question bugs me because it’s kind of true.

There are locations in Alaska where it does stay dark in the winter pretty much all day.  Thankfully, I don’t live there.  In the dead of winter where I live, it gets light about 10 am and dark around 3:30 or 4:00 pm.  I don’t have a window in my office, so if I don’t leave the building for lunch, I don’t see any daylight. 

I always leave the building for lunch.

It’s an interesting thing, learning to deal with so much darkness. The biggest adjustment is realizing the sounds that go bump in the dark night are the same sounds that go bump in the light night.

I’m not afraid of the dark.  But I do like to see what is making scary noises.

I had a girlfriend once who would not come over to my house at night in the winter because I didn’t have blinds on all my windows.  It didn’t matter that my living room was on the second floor on a hill and faced a swamp where nobody would ever go.  She was scared.  And I thought she was silly.

I’m not sure I think that any more.

A couple of years ago somebody knocked on my door at 10:30 pm.  I was just about to head to bed and it really startled me.  I clicked on the front porch light and there stood a strange man.  He was disheveled, unkempt.  Because I’m brilliant, I opened the door.

I know, right?

He told me this story about his sister and how she sent him to borrow some items a man would never ask for.  I told him I couldn't help him, then closed the door and locked it.  He hollered at me for awhile, then left.

By the time I found my neighbor’s phone number he had already been to her door.  We decided to call the police because it was just too weird.  They drove around our neighborhood, but didn’t see him. 

I was surprised my neighbor opened her door to this creepy dude.  What was she thinking?  She had little kids..and besides, she's smarter than me. Then I found out she answered her door brandishing a gun. 

What a woman. 

Now when I hear bumps in the night, I just click a button on my phone.

I have her on speed dial.


  1. A question that I was asked last week, while we were in Portland, was "You live in Alaska, why?". So rude!! And obviously she has never been to Alaska or she wouldn't have asked such a stupid question.

  2. My home state is New Mexico - half the United States thinks it is part of a foreign country. Now I'm in Texas, where we all live either in Dallas, raking in $$$ from our oil wells, or we're out riding the range on our huge ranches.