by Nathan Amundson
When I was a sophomore in high school my mom married a guy who lived in Glenallen, Alaska, so we moved there. Glenallen is somewhere between Anchorage, the coastal “big city” I grew up in, and Fairbanks, the “other city” 6 hours north.
Actually, I just looked this up and it’s not even in the same direction. Glenallen is north of Anchorage, but also east. It’s not even on the same highway. Highways in Alaska are named 1, 2, and 3. That’s pretty much it. If you want to go somewhere you take 1, 2, or 3, or you get on a plane.
Anyway, yeah, so I’ve been wrong all these years. OK. But Glenallen is still in the middle of nowhere, and there’s no real town center, or wasn’t then. Just school and snowmobiling. And sitting in the basement shaving my head, dropping acid and listening to Peter Murphy records.
But because there was so little to do, I kind of got free rein with my Mom’s car, a little silver Mercury, and would often go into “town” to pick up our mail from the post office. This took about an hour there and back and I’d smoke cigarettes and wonder how in hell anyone could make a record as good as Pornography.
Coming back one time, I was going down the last stretch of the highway before the turn-off to our house. It was a steep downgrade, basically going down the side of a mountain. The mail, which I’d stupidly placed on the dash, slipped off and dumb kid that I was, I bent over to pick it up. Well, I lost control. The car swerved violently back and forth several times before flipping and rolling over six or seven times eventually landing on its roof. After what seemed like hours of skidding on its top, smushed in now with window glass coming at me all over, the car stopped. I crawled out of the driver side window and miraculously could stand. I think I just sat down on the highway for a while. I guess I was in shock. Some lady yelled up from the valley, “Are you OK up there?” and I remember thinking, “Wow, that must have been really loud for her to hear that” and also, “I didn’t even know there was a house down there.”
Anyway I had to spend the night at the hospital under observation with them waking me up hourly to make sure I hadn’t died, but I didn’t, and nothing was broken, so I got out the next day. I hate hospitals, but in retrospect they were very sweet to me. I guess it was kind of the talk of the town or something.
My mom didn’t even care that
I wrecked her car. She was just happy I was OK. Moms are cool
like that. The most embarrassing part is that I was listening to
the Soupdragons when it happened. It was so annoying blaring out
of the wrecked car as I sat next to it that I actually crawled back into
the car to turn it off.