Isolation, Chapter 1: Here
“It was the e-mail I sent,” Josh cursed. “I knew I shouldn’t have sent that thing.” The dog and cat barely stirred as Josh spoke, they being used to Josh speaking to himself, though today’s words were tinged with an edge of bitterness usually not found in the dialogues. “I knew I shouldn’t have sent that...why was I so stupid?”
It was dumb, really, Josh’s action. He realized it at the time, but he thought since he was sending one of his poems to a website where authors and poets can submit content supposedly anonymously, no one would know who he was, or better yet, where to find him. Living at the northern most point of North America makes you feel so isolated that you could disappear from society because, in reality, you pretty much were. And since Josh was not a techno-geek, he didn’t realize that joining an on-line group meant he could be in the most remote location in the world, or the earth’s most populated city, for to the internet, it didn’t matter. They were all “together.” Also, if Josh had realized how easy it would be for someone to gain access to those who logged in to the website and know exactly who those people were and exactly where those people were, he would never have logged in and submitted his poem. He probably would have never set up an internet account or used the computer (a gift from his parents currently living in Carlsbad, California) in the first place. The whole purpose of him quitting school at USC with one semester of philosophy under his belt and moving to Alaska to work by himself in a 5’ X 7’ building counting diesel trucks as they entered one of the most dangerous stretches of road anywhere on earth, was to be alone—to escape the hypocrisy humanity had become and enter a world of total darkness or total light, a place where he could be one with nature and write down—using paper and pen, the old-fashioned way, the way God intended—the feelings of his heart. He wrote for himself, not for others. He never wanted anything he wrote published.
However, had Josh continued using his computer after sending his “anonymous” e-mail, he would have discovered something amazing. He would have been informed, if he had just checked any major news website, that a poem had recently been discovered, sent to a writing group by an unknown writer and who’s author remains a mystery, and that this new poem was causing a sensation throughout writing circles, university poetry programs, and interested literary parties the world over. The questions flooded in. “Who was this genius?” everyone wanted to know. “Is this a new talent, or an accomplished poet bored with traditional methods of poetic delivery?” Reviews from across the globe heralded the writer as unsurpassed, omniscient in his/her understanding of the secrets of life, and even—dare they say—Dickinsonian? Major literary interests even offered rewards leading to any information on the poet’s identity. Unbeknownst to Josh, he had become part of a modern-day treasure hunt with him as the prize. A reporter, utilizing several “less-than-ethical” methods discovered a man named Josh working and living in one of the most unlikely spots a creative genius would call home and decided to book a flight to Barrow, deciding to try his luck and call this unknown poet once he touched down. He knew this could all be a wild goose chance, ending in futility, but he had to take a chance.