20 November, 2008

Why I Need To Be Rich

I realized today that I need to be rich.
It's not so much that money will bring me happiness, (although it will) it's what I avoid that I really would look forward to most. There are certain things I don't want to be part of my life; certain things I don't want at all in fact.

I don't want to have to wear a walkie talkie all day for work.
I don't want to have to own a phone that chirps so that people can talk to me.
I don't want to have to ever use the loop on the leg of carpenter's jeans.
I don't want to have to work so hard that I have to shower daily to avoid disease.
I don't want to have to bend over at work ever (literally, not figuratively.)
I don't want to have to own or wear a bandanna against my will.
I don't want to have to take lunch when a whistle blows.
I don't want to have to take a tool belt off to use the potty.
I don't want to have to wear gloves ever at work.
I don't want to have to ride a tram/train/shuttle/bus from the parking lot at work.
I don't want to have to risk any kind of physical or mental duress at work.
I don't want to have to get paid every other week for the rest of my life.

Now this list is sure to insult, but I assure you, I look down on no one who's job requires these things. I am simply emphasizing my complete lack of excitement should any of these things be required in my future work. I respect any and all parties who deal with items from this list in their daily work, and in fact commend them for their patience and willingness to do the things that I cannot.
Tally ho!
And he's a jolly good fellow.
Keep up the good work folks because I sure don't want to have to do it.

19 November, 2008

Why I Think I Might Be Evil

I think I might be evil.
I was assigned to write a one-page, fictional story about two people in a conversation where only one person could talk. For what ever reason you chose, one of the two people was unable to communicate.
Simple and harmless right?
Well my story was about a half dead prostitute that someone discovered in a dark, wet alley. She couldn't talk not only because she was half dead, but because her mouth was full of blood.
Am I sick? I must be sick.
Where did this come from? I've not been to many big cities. I've been to NYC twice, Chicago once, Minneapolis once, LA once, San Fran once, Portland a few times and Seattle once. There's probably a few more big cities I've missed in that list, but the point is, I'm not a hardened, cold, crime-familiar city dweller. I'm from the country, from Utah, from Mormons. From where in my mind did I dig up this half dead whore? I'm not even sure I've seen a whore.
Well maybe in Vegas that one time...
But what makes this worse is that I compared this lady of the night to the baby Jesus through manger scene imagery comparisons. I wrote her condition as lying in a manger of garbage bags. I stopped short of describing said bags as swaddling clothes of garbage.
I'm not sacrilegious. At least not often or much. Sure, I'll crack a couple jokes during a family prayer, but nothing to deserve the licking flames of hell.
So where did this dead prostitute come from?
Sometimes I scare myself.
Well, I guess the best thing to do it just get it out there. Lemme know if I'm weird or evil.

Angel of the Night

By Logan Tanner

As I passed the ally, I saw a glint of light out of the corner of my eye that caught my attention. It had stopped raining hours ago but the ground and surrounding buildings still had a murky wet glow in the evening light. This glint of light though was different. It was slow and organic. Not like a wet plastic bag being drug by the wind or a rusty ally door swinging open to take the trash out. It was slow and almost human.

As I stopped and peered down the dimly lit alley, I caught the reflection of what seemed like one and a half eyes looking back at me. I should have been scared, petrified even, but for some reason I wasn’t. I turned and started walking down the alley, loudly and boldly asking hello as I approached.

It wasn’t long before I was staring down at what appeared to be a woman. I crouched slightly in surprise and asked if she was alright.

“Hello? Are you OK,” I asked. “Can you hear me?”

I could tell by the way her face turned towards me that she had, but when she opened her mouth, a gurgle of blood trickled out and ran down her face and into her ear. It didn’t seem to me that she was attempting to talk, but simply purging her mouth of the blood that had apparently been building up.

I looked around nervously, wondering if someone else had seen this, or possibly, if someone else was seeing me see this. I looked down the alley fruitlessly, half wanting to see who did this and half not. Being an avid fan of the cinema and made-for-TV dramas, I also had a slight worry that I would be mistaken as the perpetrator of this vicious act. It happens all the time on TV.

She was splayed out, half buried in a manger of wet, black garbage bags and reams of old newspaper. Her head was cocked back, resting on the pavement and a halo of blood had formed around her head in a near perfect circle. I paused for a moment and thought of her as some kind of saint. An angel fallen from heaven who’d missed her mark. As I peeled back the bags and paper though, my misjudgment became clear: fishnet stockings, a purple-mini skirt, one clear-heeled stiletto and a fake Coach purse with it's faux gold-chained strap wrapped firmly around her neck. I could see the impression of the links in her skin as I cleared some room around her head, causing the chain to slacken a bit.

“Ma’am,” I told her as if she comprehended, “I’m calling the police and we’ll get you out of her as soon as we can.”

I hadn’t referred to someone as a ma’am since I was a Boy Scout. I found it odd that I had just used it now to address what appeared to be a half-dead prostitute, lying broken, bloody and speechless in a wet back alley.

“I’ll stay with you until they get here,” I said, pushing my tangential thoughts aside and pulling out my cell phone. This was weird and probably a little dangerous. But for me, I felt some kind of safety being here with her. I felt needed for the first time in a long time. And for that, I’d stay with her for as long as it took.

I'm weird right? I feel it. Do you?

11 November, 2008

What I Learned After Seeing Myself Naked

So last night, upon returning from Timber Lakes and the snowed in cabin we'd been staying in up past Heber, UT, I decided it was time to throw Logan a little "spa night." When my wife throws it, "spa night" consists of cuticle cuts, facials, head massages and cool cucumber eye naps. It's fantastic and rather relaxing. I feel like a million metrosexual bucks when she's done pampering me. Tonight though, the schedule of events was a bit sparser and I'd be doing most of the pampering on my own. Actually, you could just call it a shave and a haircut.
To start the show off, I asked for some assistance on shaving my neck. Since I began giving myself haircuts about a year ago, I've discovered a rare-sighted anomaly that is kinda gross and counterproductive to the intent of hair cutting: Neck hair. I get it and it comes in droves. I can't trim it myself for fear of carving myself up like an Etch A Sketch, so I end up giving myself two or three haircuts before realizing that the collar of fluff back there actually looks worse with a well groomed, yet thinning head of hair. So I called the Missus in for a quick shave down. I asked her to buzz the hairline low so it doesn't look like I'm wearing a wool sweater under shirts with a stretched out neck or wide collar.
Then I stood expectantly in front of the mirror. From belly button to the top of my head I inspected. I look good with a heavy beard and grizzly mustache. Wish the beard didn't have to go tonight but it did. I felt bad for the mustache. It's like seeing a nice car on cinder blocks, wheels only recently removed. The car, so lonely and helpless, waits to be reunited as it sits awkwardly and uselessly beside the road. Like the lonely car sitting uselessly and wheel-lessly on the side of the road, I trembled sadly thinking of how lonely and bastardly my mustache would look without his warm and cuddly beard friend.
But I moved on, knowing that all trimmings would be for the betterment of the whole. With billowing neck hair now trimmed back, I moved on to the actual hair cutting on top of my head. I continually delude myself into thinking that my thinning hair will look better if shorn shortly but I find myself disappointed and mildly chilly after every cut. Without choice though, I bent over the tub, flicked my clippers to level three and worked my way against the grain on the sides and back of my head. As I trimmed from sideburns and ears up, I envisioned a gorgeous, European faux-hawk forming on the crown of my head. I envisioned it having always been there, always waiting to be freed from the greasy thin-ness that is my hair by the liberal and brave application of Wahl hair clippers. I envisioned myself standing up and seeing some kind of bare-chested, faux-hawked David Beckham look-a-like staring back at me. I imagined staring back at myself in the mirror and being impressed with the sexually attractive man I had groomed out of my old self.
But it wasn't meant to be. I finished the sides and top, running my fingers through what was supposed to be a thick mane of pure sex. A mane of stoic beauty and shockingly dense, Fabio-like fibers. But it wasn't there. The thickness just wasn't there and neither was the hair.
I stood up and again, from belly button to the top of my head, I inspected myself in the mirror. Naked as a lab rat, I've got nothing to hide. Nothing to tuck, shade or obscure all that is me. And when I say all that is me, I really mean all. There's a lot there.
The beard was still there, so I imagined it gone, as it would be shortly. The sideburns blended gorgeously with the field of beard, so I imagined them triangular rather than the usual straight. But something was wrong. Other than the crime of me being naked I mean, I just felt like something was wrong with what I was seeing. I felt like something about me was folically disproportionate. Somehow the lack of hair on my head and soon-to-be baby bottom face didn't work.
Then I saw it. I shivered, shuttered and gagged. Body hair. How had I forgotten it was there? How had I forgotten the roll it played? It had always been there and had often played an integral roll in my grooming habits. Once, while a junior in high school, I shaved it to look like a giant arrow. I didn't intend for it to be an arrow really, but that was roughly what it was shaped like by default. So arrow it was. Then, later in life when I was living in Ukraine, I learned that if you shave your armpits, it makes you sweat less. So I promptly and trustingly shaved them. The results were all but immediate; not only was it refreshing, but I did notice a distinct decrease in armpit perspiration.
But tonight I noticed that my chest hair was making a dash for my long since unshaved armpits. A sprint across my male mammeries that I just couldn’t' t tolerate. I always get teased that my scarf of neck hair connects to my beard when neither are shaved by way of an under ear bridge. It's like those vintage, leather football helmets with holes for ears. But here, it looked like my tank top of chest hair was trying to convert itself into a full on t-shirt by stretching its wings outward to my armpits. So I did the only thing I could think of: I shaved a shallow, white trail between the two, separating their intimate relationship before it had a chance to develop and grow. White, pale flesh now separating the two, naturally different regions of my body made me feel proud and normal. I stood tall, brushed off the trimmings and looked at myself in the mirror again. But tragedy had struck, rearing its cocky little head and laughing as I realized what I had done. What had I done? What I had done was shave 2 little lines into my body that resembled quite literally thin little backpack straps. I had attempted to improve my failing appearance, but instead I had made it look like I was wearing a wool sweater and a white leather knapsack. Yuck.
Spa night needed to be over. I couldn't handle it anymore. A relaxing evening of man-scaping and proper hygiene had degenerated into a night of humiliating myself and over doing a simple job. A hair cut. As I looked around me, I was convinced that some how I had accidentally shaved a Long Haired Mongolian Yak by mistake. It looked like I had fallen into the dumpster of a barbershop. Hair clippings and swirls of pillowy fur surrounded me on every side. I was trapped, sad and disgusted.
I learned that night to just leave yourself alone. If God saw fit to cover you un-humanly thick hair and thin the universally normal patch a top your head...fine. That choice is his. Don't try and play God. Don't distort the work of the Divine Creator. It's not a game and you'll lose anyway. I did. Learn from my pain. And by golly, never make the mistake of looking at yourself naked in the mirror; you might notice something you didn't want to see.