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December 16, 2014

“Egads Jon. I mean. What does it all come to?”

“Er … what are you talking about Professor M?”

Jon took a sip of his scotch and gazed out at the holiday lights, a kaleidoscope of rainbow colors all up and down the main street of this rustic town. Oh he did like Christmas time. The lights brightened up this little Alaskan village which otherwise could be pretty dreary and gray in December.

“Listen to me Jon. I’m serious. What does it all mean?”

“You’re not going to let this go. Are you?”

Damn. And he had been in a pretty darn good mood too. The freakin’ holiday break hadn’t come soon enough. He so liked sitting here in the dining room of the Rusty Nail, easily the town’s nicest establishment, and sipping on his scotch and just …well …kind of phasing out. It was the first holiday in years he hadn’t been faced with one crisis or another. Last year, Melissa and him had called it quits right before Christmas. That had been one of his worst holidays. The year before, McPhee, his faithful Beagle had died. Good ol’ McPhee, a fine loyal canine. Okay. What if McPhee had a bladder problem. He’d dealt with that, and the freakin’ barking too. McPhee was such a sweet pup, always there in the living room waiting to be petted. Then there was the Christmas he’d lost his damn job to downsizings at the newspaper. Damn publisher gathered the crew together right there in newsroom on Christmas Eve, for Pete’s sakes, and made the announcement. That had sucked for about five minutes. And then he realized, it was the escape he’d always wanted. He’d moved up here to the North Country and got a job helping out with those bush pilots and their business. Learned to set trap lines, had taken up hunting. Hell, he had really embraced the whole culture of Alaska. Of course, Professor M had moved up here as well, had taken that job teaching in Alaska and that had put a crimp into the little bit of paradise he’d created for himself. The guy was always invading his space. Of course, most of the time his old mentor stayed right down there in Anchorage, some 250 miles away.

“I feel we’re all waiting for Godot Jon.”

“Oh … not that again.”

“Listen to me Jon,” Professor M said, turning now to his protégé. “I’m in crisis. I think I’m having one of those existential moments.”

“When I get one of those I just take a drink.” And with that Jon threw back his head and swallowed off the remaining scotch before calling for another drink. “Hell Professor. We only live once.”

“Do we? I mean … how do we know?”


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