In the old days, Geoffrey was rich. He was a banker, and as we later understood, the closer your job was to the Cabal, the more money you made. To be honest, I don’t think he was deliberately complicit – he just turned a blind eye, as so many of us did in our different ways.
Anyway, at that time Geoffrey drove a red Porsche with the vanity plate SWANKA. (Which is inverted vanity if you ask me. But he does seem to enjoy being laughed at. A streak of masochism, perhaps? He did go to public school, after all.)
With Disclosure, status symbols became shame symbols, so he stuck his Porsche in the garage and drove around town in a little Toyota Vitz, keeping his head down. Just as well, because things were turbulent for a while, and people like Geoffrey were called rude names, and worse. But as the mass consciousness continued to rise we all learned to forgive, and stopped pointing the finger of blame.
Geoffrey held onto the Porsche, although he never drove it again. Once he felt reasonably safe from reprisals, he parked it on the paving in front of his house, as if to display his guilt and penitence.
After the Change, and the coming of the new technologies, the city began to transform around Geoffrey’s Porsche. First the road in front of it disappeared, with its lamp posts, sign posts, traffic lights, telegraph poles and cables. New houses arranged themselves to right and left around an open, grassy space. Saplings and shrubs appeared and quickly grew to maturity. A stream wound between them. Tuis and Moreporks moved in.
And still SWANKA sat there on the paving in front of Geoffrey’s house. Still he kept it waxed and polished, its tyres inflated and its battery juiced. Over time we became rather fond of it. It became a local landmark, and a local joke.
But last night, and much to our surprise, he announced his decision to donate it to the mountain recreation road. A transporter saucer is coming to fetch it tomorrow. He’ll follow on behind in his own saucer, and get it settled in.
‘Letting go, at last. It’ll be a wrench of course,’ he admitted, with a sigh and a shake of the head. ‘But it’s probably for the best.’
More to the point, his new girlfriend has refused to move in with him until the Porsche moves out. She’s been quite outspoken about it. She did offer to accompany him on the farewell trip, but he feels it would be a kind of betrayal to expose SWANKA to her triumph. He prefers to say goodbye on his own, and weep whatever tears may flow in the privacy of his saucer, unobserved.
He likes to relate these matters down at the Community Centre, wearing a hang-dog expression that fools nobody, and getting a lot of ribbing which he seems to enjoy immensely.
© Sue J Davis 2015
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