Double-J helped Annie out of the snowbank, and they resumed their walk down the fire road, away from the derelict car. Their pace slowed, noticeable quiet moments now between the scrunch-scrunch of their feet in the snow.
The road ascended a hill, and when they reached the top they could look down at Bark Bay, the dots of light in the town more numerous with the holiday season, the river a thin black snake slithering through the midsection.
I’ve always liked this view Annie said, motioning down the hill.
Huh, Double-J said, then stopping, continued, What do you see?
Hmmm Annie said, stopping as well and looking down thoughtfully. I see — everything. All the people I’ve ever known, all the places I’ve been to — the schools, the Auditorium, movie theater, restaurants — the dance studio, Gabin’s gym — all the friends I’ve ever met, all the people I’ve loved. And what I like about it, is that I can see it all, take it all in from up here. So many pleasant memories. She turned to Double-J. It’s — beautiful.
Double-J snorted. Funny. I see — over there, just past the edge of lights — there’s the remains of one of the old shipping docks. You know, back when Bark Bay was this big lumber port, like they tell us in school. Back when it was — whatever the hell it was called —
Yeah, right. So there was the Revolution, and the town didn’t want to be associated with the crown anymore, so some genius — they never did figure out who to blame — he comes up with the name of Bark Bay because of all the logs coming down from upriver. So the town gets a stupid name, and a couple decades later the lumber industry turns to more productive ports, and that’s the beginning of the end, isn’t it?
Double-J was now gesticulating broadly with his arms. The town survives, becomes a summer retreat, yachts replacing shipping vessels. Then — he now motioned straight down — electricity comes, we need a power source for all those lights. So — he now motioned behind them, past the hill, past the end of the fire road — they build a hydro-electric dam, which gives us all the power we need, but has the unfortunate side-effect of shriveling our once-mighty river. The bays that nature had built over thousands of years now dry up overnight, so there goes the yachting industry.
So you know what I see from this view? A series of petty dreams dashed on the rocks of reality.