Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

North To Alaska - T Minus 2 Days

It really hit me around 12:15 am.

Maybe it was the romantic feelings left over from finally watching Stardust on DVD (I don't care what the critics or the first-run box office said - that's a wonderful little film. As Niel Gaiman says, a fairy tale for adults. Well worth the rental!). Maybe it was that special time at night when Trish was asleep, the house was quiet, and I was alone with my inner self. Maybe it was just time to listen to what the inner self was whispering in my ear.

In any case, around 12:15 it finally sunk in with full clarity. I'm going back. Back to Alaska and back to Anchorage... the home I chose after so many had been chosen for me by my army brat upbringing. Back to Beluga Point, Pont Woronzof, Northway Mall, the Diamond Center, 5th Avenue, Spenard... all these places which are as fundamental to my memories as calcium is to my bones. I still mentally drive the the streets of Anchorage from time to time... from my parents old house in South Mountainview to East High, from my apartment on Boniface Pkwy to the university, from my house on 15th to my friend Kert's parents' house... all those mnemonic road trips, though, are merely ghosts haunting the brain. They have no substance to grasp onto. To tell the truth, I'm almost afraid to confront their concrete realities when I hit town Friday night.

Anchorage has changed a lot since I lived there. Then again, so have I. I'm not the awkward kid in that photo any more. I know that the streets have changed, the buildings have grown... I know that Tom Wolfe was right, and you can't go home again. I also know that the horizon meets the sky up there in a way that's unproducable anywhere else in the United states, that the air tastes different, that the "Anchor Rats" walking the streets are undeniably real, forthright, and independent; in short, undeniably Alaskan.

Maybe the Anchorage of my memories, that kid's Anchorage, is a lot like Neil Gaiman's Stardust; a fairy tale for adults. It's not home any more. If home is where your heart is, then home is lying in bed a few rooms away as I write this. Still, I can't help hoping that as I drive down Northern Lights Blvd. I might pass that kid on the street, driving his old beat up Toyota on the way to Point Woronzof looking for a quiet place to think under the midnight sun. If I see him, I might just follow him there, and introduce him to the man he's become. They've got a lot of catching up to do.