This Memorial Day I took my family and headed on over to PCBushi’s house. We had some beers, his girlfriend made some awesome spring rolls, and my oldest daughter played with one of the cats. My wife also decided that she wanted to get far away from the black hole of despair that is the American city. DC in particular.
Crime and poverty weren’t what caused her epiphany. It was something else, something I wasn’t expecting. The topic of genetic tampering and designer babies came up while eating hot-dogs and chasing my children. Seems one of the popular things for the well-off to do in the city is to pick what they want their offspring to look like, implant them in surrogates, and then hire nannies to raise them. If something goes wrong during the pregnancy just scrap it and start over (or at least try to). Children make great accessories. Can show them off to the neighbors and eventually they move out of the house. Dogs are no longer fashionable, people.
My wife isn’t particularly religious, but this troubled her deeply. Maybe it was the casual utilization of another human’s body for money. Maybe it was the intentional separation of motherhood from pregnancy. I don’t know. I know how she feels though. She wants to escape before this becomes normal and we too no longer care.
The city is rotting.
Every week a new restaurant or store closes. Chains, independent diners, high-end steakhouses, doesn’t matter. The political and lobbyist class pass by the homeless and mentally ill that huddle in front of the closed storefronts. I pass them by too.
The transit tunnels are dark and in disrepair. They are leftovers from an earlier time. Maybe people cared then. I’m not sure. People are raped on the train in the middle of the day. Sometimes they are just stabbed to death. Mostly the trains just catch on fire. Life is cheap. Sometimes Starbucks has half priced frappuccino drinks. The line usually goes out the door. There are probably five salad places within a block of my office.
Up a few blocks there is an expensive dog boutique next to a sexual fetish store. I’m not sure if the building on the corner is even open. Someone broke one of the class panels in the newly renovated building across the street. A large piece of plywood covers the hole right next to a sign advertising available retail space. Around the corner are several gentleman’s clubs. Lunch specials are advertised next to the featured dance of the day.
The city is where the jobs are. Most are parasitic, attached to the hulking federal monstrosity. I am a parasite. I produce nothing. I buy sugar-free energy drinks and tell the beggars I have no cash to give them. Yogurt at the convenience store is regularly sold out. Most places pay well enough for you to have someone else raise your children while you sit in traffic on the way to your cube. You can sign a petition to save the whales on your way there.
When the weather is nice little kids from the local daycare can be seen playing on the concrete in front of their building. The teachers hold ropes around the area so they don’t wander into traffic. The homeless lady that sits on the curb about fifty feet away from them takes off her shoes when it’s hot. She has sores on her feet. I gave her a sandwich once. Now I don’t make eye contact. I heard the new Mediterranean restaurant across the street is good. Need to try it before it’s gone.