Sunday, May 25, 2008

Three, three sticks.

I stayed up late the night before our flight, packing and preparing. As I stuffed my CaseLogic cd case in my suitcase I couldn't help but imagine our flight crashing into a mountain or exploding in midair, the tattered remains of luggage and bodies falling into some farmers field in the middle of Oklahoma. Flying had always been a bittersweet experience for me as during the take-off and actual flight I had to concentrate on anything but my approaching, imminent death, and the landing was the relief that freed me from the burden of unimportant thoughts.
So there I was, stuffing my baseball glove between my church shoes and binoculars and thinking of how it will feel when the pilot announces that we're going to crash and what it will be like to know that death is moments away. Then it came to me: I should write my will. Where would all my stuff go if I died unexpectedly? This was my chance to write a note to my surviving friends and let them know that I'll miss them, that I saw this incident coming, and how exactly they could divide my assets. Thus, at 1:30 am, in my basement room, with thoughts of watching the seats in front mine rush toward me as the nose of the plane smashes into a mountain side, I began writing my farewell note.
"Dear Friends," I started. No no, "To whom it may concern," yeah, that's it. "To whom it may concern, and to whoever may find this note, if you are finding it then our plane must have crashed and we must be dead." What if someone robs our house and finds this note? After considering this as a possibility I decided that is was highly unlikely, and went on with my letter.
I told of how much I would miss each of my friends. I left my baseball cards and baseball memorabilia to my best friend Brett, as he would appreciate these most and because these were my most valuable possessions. He would also get my photos. I've loved pictures all my life, mostly because I love to reminisce and partly because I like to see how things and people used to look.
As I finished up the note I realized that I should include something daring, something I would never say while I was alive. I would declare my undying love for a girl. Now, saying you were interested in a girl and talking about girls at the age of 14 is something that is fairly common for boys to do. However, I'd been teased at a young age by my mom and older sister about liking a girl and this did not bode well with my already shy nature and lack of confidence. So instead of casual conversations in the confidence of my best friends about the girls I liked, I avoided the subject and refused to offer any information or clues leading to the discovery of my feelings. Accomplishing this, while trying to solidify my role as a heterosexual, became more and more of a challenge. But I'll save that for another day.
Assuming that if anyone read my note I was dead and thus I wouldn't have to face the embarrassment of allowing others to know my feelings, or that I would survive the plane rides to and from Georgia and find the silly letter lying on my dresser, I continued to write of my romantic interest in a girl I'd only talked to once. Nicole Clark must know of my feelings for her so she could mourn her loss appropriately.
In all the excitement of lying around my grandparent's house, and the stressful flights surrounding those events, I'd forgotten about my unnotorized will awaiting my return. I picked it up and smiled, laughed at my insecurity, and tore it up into tiny pieces so no one would find my incriminating testimony.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Home Sweet Freakin' Home

There's a relatively small city in a mountain valley in northern Utah. It's in this cozy little place that one might come across some interesting people. These people vary, but it's their unique quirks that give this place it's character.
First of all there's Bert, a man with a slight mental disability who rides his bike all around the valley for no apparent reason, waiving and smiling at everyone he sees. I've seen him riding his bike since I was really young, and he may have been doing it a lot longer. I'm not sure what his story is, but it brightens my day to see him smile and wave and honk his little horn. I always wave back, trying to match the size of his smile as best I can to show my appreciation. I've long suspected that he's getting paid to do this by someone or some company, but I have yet to attain any evidence. Bert passed me in the grocery store once. We exchanged salutations but other than that I haven't really met him or had a chance to interview him.
Then there's the Latin-American guy that stands on 10th North and Main all day preaching what he believes to be the "word of God". From what I've heard, he was converted to the LDS church then had a dream or feeling or something that convinced him he should stand on the street corner and call the people to repentance. I admired him for doing what he thought God wanted him to, though it seemed a slight ineffective. All summer, all winter, there he stood, yelling from his corner to people driving by. Then, one day, I noticed he wasn't there. My friend informed me that the word on the street was that he had been deported due to his illegal residence. Weird.
And of course, lest we forget, there's the man who brings a smile to my face just thinking about him whom we've come to affectionately refer to as: Francesco, or Kevin for short. This man can be spotted riding an adult sized tricycle up and down center street wearing a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, a thick, dark mustache, and sometimes...yellow rubber dish gloves. His hog is decked out with a basket on the back, upon which is mounted one of those little windmills often purchased for children.
These people, and many like them, provide the residents of this little mountain community a special and unique form of entertainment, one that might be difficult to find elsewhere. Hoorah and kudos to these fine individuals who make our lives a little happier.