Postcard No. 2: New room, complete with roommate and
Editor's note: USU student Ginger
Warburton writes of an outsider's experience in Alaska
exclusively for the Hard News Cafe. This is the second
in a series.
By Ginger Warburton
"The coolest thing about your
room is the amazing view!" Lisa said as she showed
me my room.
It was a small rectangle with a stained
twin mattress in the center. She took me to the window
and opened it, there was no screen and I leaned outward
to look at the wide, short waterfall that crashed into
a small pool below.
"Wow, yeah that is really
amazing," I said. I was trying to stay optimistic
after the disappointment I'd felt about the apartment
and scenery. It was actually pretty cool, and I loved
the sound, I thought it would be nice to listen to when
I was going to sleep. Unfortunately I had forgotten
to bring sheets with me, and all I wanted was sleep!
My roommate provided me with a sleeping bag, which I
was grateful for, but also felt strange about sleeping
in someone else's things. I'm a frequent sheet washer.
Lisa said she had borrowed Brokeback
Mountain from someone and was planning on watching it
that night, so we set up the television and put it in.
I laughed to myself as the situation seemed really funny
to me. It's bizarre sometimes the things we do with
total strangers, only meeting because of some odd reason
or another. She was my roommate though, a title that
up until that point had only been reserved for my friend
Jami, a girl I had lived with off and on for the past
few years. It felt strange to call this new person by
the same title. I started referring to her as, "this
girl I live with," "roommate" seemed too intimate for
The next day Lisa brought me to work
with her, where we would begin training. I sort of met
other co-workers, and finally met my manager, whom I
had only talked to on the phone numerous times. My job
as well as everyone else's entailed picking up cruise
ship passengers and taking them around to various locations
so they could go on tours around the island, which included
things like fly-fishing, go karts, boat tours, or float
planes. So today our training would be driving around
the island, checking out the locations we would be going,
where we could park etc.
All of the employees and managers
drove around in a large bus. I sleepily sat looking
out the window at the dreary world. I sat somewhere
away from my new 'roommate' hoping I could meet new
people, but I didn't feel super social so I wasn't really
meeting anyone anyway.
I heard some guy talking about how
he drove kids to the ski resort in a bus at home, 'he's
from Utah, for sure.' I thought to myself. "Where
is he from?" I asked Kari my manager, "I'm
not sure. Lyle where are you from?" She spoke louder
to be heard across the aisle. "I'm from Washington,
but I'm going to school in Utah." I smiled to myself.
He said he went to UVSC, I used to go there I told him.
He unzipped his jacket to display his UVSC pride and
we both laughed at the coincidence.
After training in the light of day
the apartment seemed dirtier and more disgusting than
it had the night before in my groggy state. I started
going around the apartment spraying everything with
an orange cleaner, I sprayed walls, cupboards, and floors,
scrubbed, vacuumed and swept. All the while Lisa watched
openly shocked, for some reason I couldn't figure out
why. It was obvious she thought I was some sort of weird
clean freak. I myself couldn't believe she had been
living in this mess for a week and hadn't done anything
about it. I found some sort of dried food stuck to floor
and rice in one of the drawers, and crumbs on the floor!
When I found an old wishbone resting on the bonnet above
the stove I started yelling, "Lisa! Lisa! You won't
believe this!" She came running in.
"There is a disgusting old
chicken bone that was left here!" I said pointing, the
unbelief and horror were easily read in my voice and
"Oh that ...Yeah, Amy
and I had that last year, you're supposed to let wish
bones dry out a year before you break them." She
said shamelessly, "Would you like me to move it?"
This was said as if that would be a strange request.
I slowly closed my mouth and swallowed,
yes, I nodded my head. I watched in awe as she picked
up the wishbone and hung it on a hook above the stove,
I was hoping she would put it in one of here cupboards,
but no such luck.
Amy was her 'best friend' and also
our roommate that would be arriving in a couple weeks.
Lisa had many times wistfully explained to me that she
had a "platonic crush" on Amy and she couldn't wait
for her to get here.
Still reeling from the wishbone incident
I decided I needed to get a night job, I knew I wanted
to be stuck at the apartment with my new "roommate"
as little as possible.