Lin Page 11
importantly, it holds the promise of a midnight sun that lingers for months.

He arrives in mid-summer, on a day when mosquitos run rampant, and unhappily he soon discovers that every day in summer is like this. His existence becomes a long-running war against the insect as he utilizes whatever he can lay hand on - magazines, sponges, improvised swatters constructed of coat hangers and carefully sliced squares of cardboard - to do battle. Soon the walls of his sublet apartment are a bloody mosaic of dead mosquitos, their fragile little wings sticking in all directions, the bits of red from their bodies resembling the juices of a berry. For entertainment he sometimes ventures to the local bar, but the comedians who make their home there have a nasty bent against outsiders, and he is easily marked as a foreigner. The first joke concerns the all-purpose uses of

duct tape, and he is the only one who does not laugh; the rest is inevitable.

Twice he ventures into the woods near his town, deep enough that he has fleeting doubts that he can find the way back, a prospect that exhilarates him. But all for naught; his sense of direction has been sharpened from years venturing to all manner of locales. The otherwise intimidating crash of alleys and cul-de-sacs is only a game to him, and likewise the sight of a particular low-hanging madrone tree or the unmistakable sticky scent of honeysuckle is enough to reorient him. And so each time he emerges from the woods, back onto the dirt trails scuffed up by bootprints and stubbed-out cigarettes, back to the tiresome apartment and the mosquitos. He has no great love for the outdoors, in any case. He craves the simple sight of other humans, even if there is no time to say