Soapbox Part 12

November 30th, 2011  |  Published in Fiction

Here’s part 12 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.

They worked side by side in silence for a while after that, both lost in the rhythm of work until Ethan spoke up.

“I know this is a weird question, but . . .” he began.

“Don’t worry about it,” David said.

“What’s with all of the handshaking? It feels like a cross between a cult and a leadership seminar,” Ethan said. He had hoped that the translation of his thoughts into spoken words might make them less awkward, but David didn’t have an immediate answer and the words just hung between them.

“You mean you differentiate between the two?” David said with a laugh. Ethan let out the breath that he hadn’t realized he had been holding. “Good question, though. Think about it this way, as a society we no longer form communities, just networks.”

“Wait, what? What’s the difference?” Ethan asked.

“A network is a group of people who all agree with each other, a community is a group of people brought together by the common good,” David said. “We no longer associate with people that we don’t agree with. When was the last time you heard about someone asking their neighbor for a cup of sugar? We no longer need our neighbors, we just run to the convenience store and buy some rather than risking interaction with the people who we should know.”

“OK, but I don’t see how that fits in with handshakes,” Ethan said.

I’m going to save my notes for this one for Friday’s post, as they will make more sense at that point.

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