Atlas & Alice | Issue 7, Summer/Fall 2016
But wouldn’t it be to my gain, too, to have a long-term, thriving retail tenant?— You’d be jealous. Almost like I wanted my tenants to fail or be failing.—Then you keep the upper hand. OK, maybe Shaya was right. But now I had to do something to change the energy. This constant merry-go-round of retailers was time-consuming. And I’d had my fill of heartbroken shopkeepers struggling to remain businesslike and not cry as they called fixture scavengers and returned the keys. Maybe—maybe what I’d do is take the space myself and set up a proper realty office. Sales, rentals, purchases, property management. Right now I just worked from my apartment, my car, and my phone, which gave me flexibility and freedom. I’d never really wanted to open an actual office, something with my name on the door. But now the idea was somewhat attractive. And I really would try to stay positive. I wouldn’t think about how I was just one more realty office in the herd. I’d even try to avoid those really dark moments when I brooded on the ultimate futility of owning anything, on the brute fact that eventually the species would go extinct and not even Shakespeare or Gandhi’s achievements would matter, let alone my piddling mercenary work, buying and selling empty cubes of space. Yep—I’d just stay positive and believe with all my negative little heart that I’m helping people improve their lives, to “live their dreams.” Maybe I can even convince myself that my realty office will be helping civilization: property rights are the backbone of a civil society, right? That’s a stretch—but worth a shot, I guess. Anything’s better than more accusative lectures and weepy meetings with failed retailers. And you know what? Maybe I’ll even pick up some healing stones and crystals for my new office. Just for decoration.