The river gathers the PA announcer’s voice and propels it across town toward me. The sound collects, echoing, beneath the empty metal canopy over the ice rink. For a moment, the voice bounces around the vacant concrete as if a phantom hockey game is being played.

“Corning goal number blah-blah. Tanner Somebody.”

I chuckle to myself. Ironically, the Porche-driving city elite named their child after one of the dirtiest, stinkiest professions known to man.

I pass the retirement apartments cradling the thought.

It shows that trends rarely care about the definition of things, and the reality of what a tanner was and did probably never has and never will cross their history-blind minds.

They probably say, “Oh, I saw it on a TV show when I was pregnant.”

And that’s all that matters. The illusion. Not reality.

© 2023 Katie Baker

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