The Shift – Part III

Regardless of what you may think of the world around you, most of you do you part to exist inside of it. You make peace with those occasional voices that tell you everything is going to be fine if you just suck it up for one more day. After all, you need the paycheck. You have to get things done. There might be moments when you’re off of your job and and you see a vision of what the world can be. You think of seizing it.

It may come at a family Picnic where everyone tells you the ribs you just cooked up with the best they’d ever had. Say that they’d pay you to cook them. The mind drifts to the logo of the rib joint you’d own. You smile at the thought of walking through the place talking to your regulars. You’ve seen other people do it. The man you buy your morning coffee from left his office job and opened his place. Hard work he tells you, but well worth it overall. It’s well worth it. You could do that. Then the sun comes down and you give it all away, telling yourself that at one point, you’ll make all of that happen.

For Patrick, that was never the case. He’d give nothing away to the voices telling him what was possible. Being a bike messenger was his ideal gig. So, when he walked in on that early July morning, a morning he thought was going to be one of those perfect San Francisco days, his heart sank at the news.

“We’re closing it down,” Frank the dispatcher said. “It’s just not going to work. End of the month though. I could keep everyone ’till then.”

“I’ll buy it,” Patrick said without thinking. “No need to close it down.”

“You don’t have enough to do that son,” Frank responded in between bites of his sandwich. “‘ ‘sides, even if you did, I wouldn’t sell it you. You can’t make money doing this anymore. In a few years, we’ll be a novelty act. There’s just not a need anymore. Look at these beautiful banged up beasts. They’ll be a remember when in not too long. You’re smart though. You should be making real money out there. Won’t be too hard for you.”

“I chose this though, Frank. Never felt right doing anything else. How am I going to keep from moving all day long.”

“Well, I’ll tell you this. Good thing you live in a country where you have options to choose from. I’ve been a few places, not a lot, but a few, enough to let me know that options aren’t things most people have. Just make sure you take a step up. That’s as important as anything. Believe that. A step up. Now, I’ll tell everyone after work today. No need to do it through rumor. Since you’re the only one who knows, I’ll know it was you who did it if word got out.”

Patrick rolled slow out of the dispatchers shop and looked out over San Francisco. The city that had once housed, well, I guess it had always housed prostitution and the rest of it, was about to go digital. There was nothing stopping it. People would always opt for what was easier and required less work. Not sure even if it was people who thought like this – probably just the owners who did. There were just a few in charge of revolutions these days.


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