• majoki

Pothole

The impact jarred Lynn’s jaw as the car shuddered and jagged to the right.

“Damn. That one felt deep.”

“No doubt,” Bryce said casually, eyes locked on his laptop in the passenger seat.

“Did it register in the system?”

“Of course it did. That’s what the software is designed for.”

“Yes, designed, Brycey-boy. That’s why we’re testing the damn system. To see if it works. To see if it makes a difference to fixing our infuckedupstructure.”

“I wish you wouldn’t call it that, Lynn. It’s infrastructure. It’s important.”

“Yeah, but currently it’s infuckedupstructure—and that’s why we’re driving in what feels like a war-zone trying to map the damage from an average winter.”

“There’s no such thing as an average winter anymore.”

“Tell me about it, Brycey-boy. These intense freeze-thaw events are tearing apart our roads, bridges, water mains and drains. I don’t know how we’re ever going to get ahead of the damage.”

“Lynn, please stop calling me Brycey-boy. It’s demeaning, especially since I’m older than you are. You start calling me that when you get wound up, so why don’t you have a toke and mellow out.”

He pointed to the ejoint nestled in the cupholders between their seats.

She turned and stared bullets at Bryce for a second before turning back to the road. “You think that’s going to help? You get upset about infuckedupstructure. Well, that ejoint and all the political energy going into legalizing pot nationally has taken our eyes completely off what’s important. Don’t you think there’s a correlation between our inability to maintain basic services in the face of disruptive climate change and the legalization of marijuana? It’s Reefer Madness writ large.”

“That’s melodramatic.”

“Melofuckingdramatic, but true!”

“Correlates and causality are not so easily pinned down. There are plenty of factors that explain our current situation.”

“So says Mr. TechToke of the GoGreen Party. You’re just protecting your interests and burying your head in the sand—or, more likely, in a cloud of THC-laden smoke.”

“Vape, please. Nobody smokes anymore, Lynn.”

“Maybe they should. Then they would die off quicker and get this country back on the right track.”

“That’s harsh.”

The car thunked and juddered as it struck another deep pothole.

“No,” Lynn retorted, “that’s goddamn harsh!”

Bryce reached for the ejoint. “Well, I’ll get mellow enough for both of us.”

“Brycey-boy, that may be your newly protected right, but you are heading down the wrong road with me.”

He flicked the ejoint on and brought it to his lips. “Fine, but let’s get back to work.”

“With pleasure,” Lynn said, gritting her teeth and accelerating toward the enormous pothole she had spied ahead.



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