McMurdo station, November 2004

Last night I was having a Speight's Dark at Gallager's.

Last night I was thinking about this weird place. Not because it's the edge of the earth. Not because it's hard to get here or any of the treacherous passing. Not for love or lust.

Because I had to be here. Because it scares everyone how happy I am here, where people don't belong, where surface dwelling biology dies. It scares me, too

how badly I need this insanity. some kind of mania. some kind of compulsion. if I wasn't me, I might be a thief or a murderer or someone who needs to arrange his peas in fives before eating them. it's the same thing, I'm sure.

Paul looked at me. Said, "you got that 'thousand-yard stare.'"

I said, "thinking."

he said, "bout what?"

I said, "I have a story in my head."

Kristen said, "Is it one of those? If you think of it too hard, it goes away."

"yeah, like a dream..."

"don't think about it."

"like the way you have to see dim stars with your peripheral vision.

"like that."

"i think i have it i think i do"

tell me, then

i can't

silence -- just start let it be what it wants to -- maybe too much beer maybe too tired too much time

what's the matter?

oh this is sad I mean really really sad why don't you tell us because i might not finish well then have another beer i'm buying and you say the story it's like five lines i mean that's like the whole thing is five lines well then it's simple you just say it and we listen butimnotsureillgetthroughititsonlyafewlinesjustgo

Just go.

"Just tell me. I won't tell anyone."


The first thing God made was white.


On the minute he was born what occurred to him about the world was how white it was. And then blue. And then loud. And then cold.


When he accepted she wasn't coming he tossed the corsage into an open storm sewer, wrecked his rented shoes tramping through a slush puddle. Started the walk home.


"I don't understand why you're going there. There's nothing down there. All your exploration books --it's all different now. They have snowmobiles and airplanes."


"I was just thinking, maybe all of it, from the time I was little till now, what if all of that, my whole damned life -- was just so I could find you here?"


"You said you wouldn't leave."


"There has to be something else."

"Some sort of supernatural agency? I was thinking that, if there was a force compelling them to be together there, it was something outside regular reality."

"Or maybe that's just the way reality is."

"I was thinking that, too. That these compulsions are a sort of extrasensory kind of thing people do without knowing they're doing it."

"Is it a love story?"

"They're all love stories."

"It's sad."

I know, I can barely get it out without getting misty eyed.

Made her cry. Look.

Damn. Is it true?

gotta be true somewhere.

you have to write it. it will be great. i know someone. some people. is it them?

can i have another beer

you would tell usright