SoHumBorn Sunday: Bear Harbor
In December 2008, a Southern Humboldt blogger began posting fictional tales of the marijuana culture. Some people were appalled. Most were enthralled. For three months her stories gripped the online community and then, abruptly, she was gone. Even though SoHumBorn pulled her blog, for months her stories were available in the cached version but eventually they, too, were swallowed into the dark abyss. Recently she gave me permission to revive them. I’ll be doing one each Sunday for awhile. Do you have a favorite? Let me know and I’ll try and include it. The stories of this culture, true and fictional, need to be saved.
At the bottom of the post are links to all the other stories published so far.
She’s been every where performing her duties, the Emerald Triangle is her office. Dirt roads her hallways.
Clipper, Trimmer, Cleaner, there are many terms for what she does. She prefers the term Manicurist. Sounds professional.
She has a “real” job at a small local business, but it barely puts a roof over her head. She likes to eat, insure her truck, have her truck, & use toilet paper, so she works these extra jobs for the money. She has an arrangement with her coworkers that allows her to take days off when needed. When someone has to fill in for her she gives them a hundred bucks when she gets back. No one ever gets mad about covering her absences.
She’s packing for a job on the east side today, it’s a place she’s never worked before so she’s bring everything she might need. You never know what kind of set up you’re going into the first time, so it’s wise to be prepared. Especially if you’re working for a bachelor. She’s been to some jobs where accommodations were… well, let’s say rustic.
The guy she’s going to work for is a regular at her real job. He was paying the other day when he looked around, and then quietly mentioned that he needed help with a little cleaning job. She didn’t have anything lined up at the moment, and a new job often means repeat business or referrals to other growers. He said she could bring a friend and work that weekend so she wouldn’t miss any days. The place is really out in the middle of nowhere, so he agreed to come by after work the next day and she and her friend could follow him.
There is an old cabin that’s not being used they can sleep in. If they get up and start early and work late both days they should be able to get it all done in two days.
If she really bangs it out she can make more in those two days than she brings home in two weeks at her real job.
She’s got everything she needs in the back off her little toyota. Air mattress, sleeping bags, folding chairs, work clothes, (weed doesn’t stick to the ugly, slick, nylon running pants) beer flats, paper towels, rubbing alcohol, olive oil, food, bottled water, and a paper bag, filled with paper bags. Most employers provide the essential tools of the trade, but when you’re going some place new, and far from stores it’s a good idea to plan for all contingencies. She’d found that out the hard way.
Right on time her friend pulls up and parks her little car behind the toyota. “Hey, ready to go?” She walks toward the little car as the other girl gets out. “Hell yah! I’m so glad you called. I’m fuckin’ broke.” They walk around to the trunk and grab the bags there, taking them to the back of the toyota. Her friend bursts out laughing when she sees how much is already in the truck’s little bed. “Holy shit! We workin’ or movin’?!” Their laughter rings out and briefly brightens the little street.
The man pulls up along side the still smiling women. “You girls ready?” They look at each other and the laughter bubbles back up. “Oh yeah… we’re ready.” They jump in the little truck, and she smiles at him “Lead on. “
They pull out behind him and the two trucks begin their long trip up the hill. As they wind their way up the sun begins to set and the hills roll out before them bathed in the fading golden light. Dirt roads snake out on either side like capillaries carrying life from the artery into the body of the land.
It’s dark by the time the man finally turns down one. “Thank God” Her friend voices the relief they both feel knowing there is an end to the drive somewhere ahead.
They follow the other truck across a wooden bridge down the gravel road passing drive way after drive way. Then it begins a steep climb.
“Man, how far out its this place?” She shakes her head and lifts her shoulders. “I don’t know, but I don’t think we’re even in Humboldt any more.” Her passenger, being a transplant rather than a native, doesn’t know the area as well, and replies with a surprised “No Way!” So she explains to her how the three counties come together here in the hills. They hadn’t been paying attention to the signs on the pavement. They had just followed the other truck, happily chatting away, and once you’re on dirt there are no handy signs to let you know if you’ve crossed lines.
The road gets much rougher, with washboards on the corners, and deep jarring potholes. It’s grown so narrow that the brush on either side makes occasional reaches for the truck, squealing down the sides as the truck slides through its grip.
Finally it comes to an end in a small circular parking area. He gets out of his truck flashlight in hand. “Damn it!” She slaps the steering wheel with one hand. “I didn’t bring a flashlight.” “Me either.” They share a look of chagrin, and get out of the truck.
“Hang on. I’ll fire up the genny.” They wait by the truck in the dark, while his flashlight disappears around the corner giving them a glimpse of tar-papered wall. After a few moments there is the thrumming sound of a motor, and the lights in the cabin and on it’s porch all come on at once.