Soapbox Part 15

December 7th, 2011  |  Published in Fiction

Here’s part 15 of Soapbox (unedited, as usual). If you are new here and want to know what’s going on, this is a serialized story that I’m posting as I write, 250 or so words at a time added each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can skip back to part one, or read the entire thing as one page. Enjoy.

“You’re right on that point, and a lot of us agree with you,” David said. “But my take on it is that there is a value in cities, despite their faults. There are places that would be easier, or are already closer to where we want to be, but the point of this isn’t to do the easy thing.”

“Are you two about done over there?” Jess called from the other side of the roof.

“Yeah, just give us a few minutes,” David called back.

Ethan took the cue and went back to work. Within a few minutes they were finished and met Bridget and Jess back at the stairwell after they had locked up their tools.

“Anyone up for a beer?” Bridget asked. Jess and David both accepted, so Ethan did too. It was just after lunchtime, he had nothing better to do.

A couple of blocks from the building was a pub in a basement space. The only indication of it from the street was a small bronze plaque embossed with the letters PVP. Inside, there were only a couple of tables, most of the space was taken up by arcade games and pinball machines, the older ones flashing primary colors, the newer ones glowing with the bluish white of LCD screens. The sounds of the games made the place feel pleasantly full, even though it was almost empty on account of the hour.

“How have I never heard about this place?” Ethan asked.

“They don’t advertise much,” David said.

“Probably on account of them not actually being a legitimate business establishment,” Jess said.

“I see.”

“What do you want? I’ll buy,” Bridget said.

Not much here, technologically speaking, but I do think that the point about picking your fight is important. If you look at Canada, they have a lot of things that we might view favorably (health care or election seasons that are limited to about a month rather than over a year, for example) but if everyone who wanted those things just moved there instead of trying to improve where they live now, things wouldn’t get any better here, and might well get worse there (I believe that having nice things takes work and sacrifice, and if you get them for free you don’t necessarily understand how they came about and might not be properly equipped to protect them).


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