I'm leaving the old intro here, but adding this- it appears the doves have taken over my blog for their fiction. Just as well, I was doing a piss poor job of updating. They're doing much better.

This blog is infrequently updated, full of incorrect spellings, misused words, and general bad grammar. It started when I was trying to use google+ (which I've since given up on) and discovered there was no character limit for posts. If you've known me a long time, a lot of these stories will be old hat. If you plan to know me for a long time, you'll no doubt hear many of them in person. But, folks seemed to enjoy them, so here they are.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the twenty fourth story

This is the story of Milemarker 81. It requires a lot of stage setting. My brother decided, one winter, that he wanted to see the northern lights. His plan was to take a tent and a sleeping bag and just drive straight north from NYC. I was a little leery of this plan- neither of us have winter camping gear, and he didn't (doesn't) have a car. In the end, it was decided he was going to borrow mom's car, and mom's car comes with mom, and I hitched along for the ride, and his then girlfriend (now wife) was also along. It turns out, though, that you can't drive very far north on this side of Canada. I had gone to the library the day before we were leaving to try and get a map. Couldn't find anything, so I asked the research librarian. He asked me to come back in fifteen minutes. When I walked back in, he started laughing the kind of loud gaffaw that just does not belong in a library. It seems no one had bothered to make a map of Labrador- there is only one road. He also helpfully informed me that the road is not paved and was not recommended for anything without 4-wheel drive. The only way in is the ore train, which will hook up a passenger car if someone wants to ride along.

Ok, that's the setting. The four of us were on the ore train. There was one other passenger, of the first nations (I never got which nation, so we have to go generic, here). I speak a bit of French, he spoke even less; still, we were trying to have a conversation. After a few hours, he stood up and started to get his things together. I intended to ask him where he was getting off, but, in my pidgin French, what I actually asked was "what town for you?" He responded, very clearly "pas de ville" (no town). I said, "I know we're not in a town now, but what town do you live in?" He looked hard at me this time, and said, again "No Town". Once again, I tried to rephrase my question, once again "No Town". I thought to myself, ok, there's no reason to push this, we'll see the town when we get there. The train was slowing down, so I figured it wouldn't be long. He had all his stuff together by now, and was moving back on the train to the door. The conductor appeared at the door and motioned to our fellow, who went and stood next to him. As the train reached a curve, the conductor opened the door, and the man simply jumped out, into snow nearly as tall as his head, right next to milemarker 81. Before we sped up, we were able to see him plow his way to a tiny shed, from which he removed a pair of snowshoes and the disappeared into the woods.

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