Love Street and Compromise Way
“So let me get this straight” the woman sitting with other grumpy-looking people behind a row of folding tables began, “You believe that we shouldn’t pave a road because it messes up a metaphor?”
“An analogy. Not a metaphor. But otherwise… yes” the man standing at the microphone replied.
“And you realize” she continued, “that will adversely affect hundreds of motorists on a daily basis?”
“Yes. That’s sort of the point.” said the man.
The woman leaned over and whispered something to the grumpy person on her right. People sitting in folding chairs behind the man began to quietly talk amongst themselves. It was chaos on a micro level.
Sensing that the floor was now his, the man made his case. “Love is a bumpy road. It’s rarely smooth and people shouldn’t travel it unless they are ready to endure a few pot holes.”
“Yes, I understand Mr. Johnson” (Mr. Johnson being the name of the man that until this moment has been referred to as ‘the man’) but this is a real road we’re talking about.”
“A real road called Love Street” he (Mr. Johnson) countered.
If you thought the first woman (let’s call her Mrs. Fractural… an unfortunate choice I grant you but too late now) was grumpy-looking you should get a load of the man’s (not Mr. Fractural, that would be pushing it. Their kid would be terminally grumpy. The doctor would have taken one look and said “Congratulations Mrs. Fractual, you have a… holy cow! What a puss on this kid’s face) puss (an equally regrettable over-use of the word puss) who spoke next.
“My colleague is being polite but we have a lot of topics to attend to this evening so if you have nothing left to say…” he said in a manner as if to dare Mr. Johnson to not have nothing left to say.
He didn’t. He didn’t not have anything else to say.
Boy didn’t he. He began by clearing his throat.
“Mrs. Fractural and the other esteemed members of the Walcott Engineering and Economic Development department in attendance, I ask that you take the following under consideration.” This would have been an excellent time for him to have mentioned something to consider but he was so relieved about remembering the name of their department that he lost his train of thought. The members of Walcott Engineering and Economic Development department all leaned forward as one, waiting for him to continue.
So he did.
“Our children will one day travel down this road, some idealized destination in mind, some circumstance urging them forward, and do we really want to miss this, and any other opportunity, to remind them that love is a bumpy road? Can it be impractical? Yes. Are there times it makes no sense? Sure. There are plenty of other ways to go that are easier, smoother, in fact didn’t you repave Compromise Way just last year?”
Most of the Walcott Engineering and Economic Development department members turned and looked at each other asking “Do we have a Compromise Way?” or “I don’t remember funding a project of that name, do you?”
Not Mrs. Fractural. She was as sharp as a tack that had only been pushed into drywall a few times. She understood more than most where Compromise Way was located. Behind Mr. Johnson other people began to sit up straighter and listen, their troubles with trash collection or the increased cost of cat licenses momentarily forgotten.
“Don’t you see, members of Walcott Economical and Societal… I mean the Development of Economical Weights and Measures… Weights and Pulleys…” Mr. Johnson was fumbling and flailing now and Miss Rivers behind him had waited long enough to present her case about building a shed on her property to allow him to fumble out one more word.
“Mr. Johnson!” barked Miss Rivers, Mrs. Fractural and the man seated next to Mrs. Fractural all at the same time.
“Why did I try to say their damn name again?” Mr. Johnson cursed himself under his breath. “It was going so well.”
“Motion for grinding, repairing and repaving Love Street, all in favor” announced Mrs. Fractural. Seven “ayes” were offered up and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Johnson walked out of the building smiling.
Why was he smiling?
Because Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Fractural had once been lovers.
She hadn’t always been so grumpy.