Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I saw a butterfly today, which is unusual. It's kind of cruel, actually. Spring is cruel enough as it is, but to start this nonsense in February is criminal. My understanding is that there is a rodent somewhere to be blamed for this.

Today I had my phone interview with Coldfoot. Maybe this is only an illusion created by an experienced recruiter (her name is Stephanie, if you're curious), but I feel the place sucking me in. For one thing, It's the only one of the four places that I mentioned yesterday which has granted me an interview. I sometimes claim to be a determinist, and I feel like even more of one while job hunting, you know? Coldfoot is not my first choice of jobs. But I was the one who applied. Not only that, but the application asked me for my three top job choices. I selected "Trail Guide" in the first box and left the other two blank. They interviewed me anyway.

According to Stephanie, Coldfoot was started by a group of 900 prospectors who had been lured up an arctic river by a speculative trading post owner and his unsubstantiated claims that the region contained gold. The steamboat captain transporting them, afraid of the river freezing solid and trapping the boat, dumped his passengers on the banks impossibly short of their destination. What happens when you leave 900 people in a valley so desolate that even the Eskimos had left it abandoned for hundreds of years? They start a city.

They named it Coldfoot because 800 of the prospectors left within the next few months, and not for the reason you and I both thought it would have that name.

Even though they had been lied to, they searched for gold anyway and found it. Many of them became rich.

Now, there's two directions to go from here.

1. Stick it out. It's hard, sure, but you'll find what you're looking for and it will have been worth it. Gold, riches, peace, etc.

2. What Stephanie didn't tell me was what happened to the other 800 people who went back to wherever they had come from. I'm sure they were pretty happy too, more or less. They got cold feet, gave up, went home, and were probably about as glad with their decision as those who stayed.

I heard someone once say that a happy story is just a story which we haven't heard the ending to yet.

And herein lies the trouble with Spring. All of our goals that we accomplished disappeared in November, and we have been coasting on them ever since. But, if like me, you carried your unaccomplished goals through the winter, here they are lying on your front lawn, the melting snow exposing their disuse and decay, food spoiling in its unbroken sealed-for-freshness cellophane.

You want to start on the rest of your life, but first you have to shovel the rotting fetal carcasses into the dumpster, with all the neighbors watching.


Ems said...

oh my.

yes to your last few thoughts TR...you said it beautifully. it's like as the weather becomes kinder I'm feeling more and more like a failure when really I should just be prematurely shopping online for a new bathing suit.

hope the job works out, sounds like a great sumer adventure.

Michelle 2021 said...

TR, what kind of friends did you have over to your house last November?

Do you need a truck to haul away that rottage? And do you have enough salt to spoil that land forever, that its secrets may die with it?

I say try something north. It's always worked for me.

Expavesco said...


I hear what you are saying about spring + starting new things, and feel similar, but much less motivated... if that is possible.