Monday, January 23, 2012


While I'm in school, I live in a B&B in Anchorage.  It's a gigantic three-story house with a front yard that has been cemented over to create parking spaces, and it's in a very nice residential neighborhood within 3 miles of the college and hospital where I go for clinical rotations.

My room and its private bath are on the bottom floor.  Also on the bottom floor is a large living room and full kitchen that I share with the occupant of the only other bedroom on this floor.  His name is Mark.  He moved to Alaska this past October, having spent the first 27 years of his life living in more temperate climes.  Mark is smart, tall, handsome and pleasant when our paths cross, which isn't often.  I wouldn't even know he lived down here save for the fact that he leaves dirty dishes and crumbs in the kitchen and uses my dishwashing soap and towels. Mark has been here all day (I know this because his car is parked in the driveway), as have I, and I haven't laid eyes on him.  As far as I know he hasn't cooked anything (there is no new mess in the kitchen).

An orthopedic surgeon and his wife live on the second floor during the winter.  They're very pleasant people.  He replaces hips and knees at a nearby hospital and has climbed Everest  She manages the house while the owners spend their winters in exotic places like Africa, France, and Israel.  She is detail oriented and very interested in the lives and habits of the other occupants of the house.  Yesterday she informed me that Mark has not washed his sheets or clothes since he arrived in October, and that his room is full of dirty clothes, trash bags full of trash, and computer gaming equipment.  She says that she believes they'll have to burn his sheets when he moves out (apparently he is using "house sheets" - I brought mine from home because I'm sorely addicted to high thread counts).  I was unaware that she patrolled our rooms while we're gone and wonder what she thinks when she peeks into my room, which is full of books, binders, bags of food items that I'm unwilling to share with Mark, and Angry Bird stuffed animals that my husband has begun buying for me.  I think I'll leave a big pile of plastic dog poop on the floor just inside the door of my room the next time I go home to Kenai.

There are several other transient winter residents living here off and on, and the granddaughter of the owner makes regular appearances with her two small children.  She does her laundry here and uses the internet while she ignores her children who want to follow tenants into their rooms.

We're an odd group.  At least two of us are night owls; I can hear someone wandering around above me until at least 2 am before I fall asleep.  We are mountain climbers, busybodies, computer gamers, bicycle riders, students, surgeons and hoarders.  We are US, Canadian and UK citizens, junk food junkies, gourmet cooks, bridge players, movie buffs, single mothers, married couples, neat freaks and slobs.  Somehow we blend in slightly off-key harmony.

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