Trash still lines the parking lots and allies, but the air is clear enough to breathe in deep when you pick up the pace on a fast bike ride.
Case spends a long ride thinking of a plan to help curb the trash. Port Promise still has an industrial feel. Case doesn’t want to lose that entirely, for it’s history, and he thinks the rusting cranes and containers add color to the place. You don’t want to cancel culture as you transform it, he decides. You gotta keep some of it, so you know where you’ve come from. Out of respect, too, to the labor and lives that came before.
But at that same time, the heavy industrial feel seems to contribute to this attitude that the place was trashed, so it doesn’t matter if we leave our trash laying around it.
Whenever Case picked up bags full of litter, passersby looked at him quizzically, as if cautioning him that next day, the trash would be back, as it always was.
So, yeah, people will trash a dump.
But who would trash a garden?
So Case begins thinking of ways that Port Promise can be transformed into a five-block garden. There’s so much open space, and it’s been neglected for so long that many native plants have established themselves. That’s a good backbone to build on.
Ballots are coming up soon, and Case thinks he’ll put up a proposition to put this plan in motion.
He needs support for the measure, that’s for sure. And if he can line it up before he even approaches his supervisors at the NGO, before the proposition is even put forward for the ballot, so much the better.
“What do you think about neighborhood planting measures?” he asks this guy who’s heading towards the garden centers. Yeah, Case hasn’t much charisma yet, and his approach to politics is about as straightforward as he is. He doesn’t get small talk, like, at all.
But the guy he asks… whoa. Who is this beautiful Sim?
He seems too perfect to be a random-created townie. Everything about him fits together to make a whole package. Those violet eyes… that eye liner. Is he wearing lipstick? That hair! I’m not sure if you can see here, but he has tiny freckles. And his see-through shirt.
I had a student who looked and dressed like him once, so long ago, in 1994, at a small community college in the Intermountain West where three towns came together on three rivers, and the college campus was situated on the most redneck of the towns. The other students gave him a wide berth, especially when he wore heels and carried a pink purse. But I loved his attitude. I adored his writing. I loved his voice, a falsetto, that would, now and then, break out in a tenor laugh. In spite of it all, a lifetime of bullying and rejection, he was a badass with strength and sweetness that ran through and through. What a history! I wonder what he’s doing now.
His name wasn’t Darrel Charm, which is this Sim’s name, which I jot down and google later to discover, of course, that he is another premade, from Realm of Magic, living in Glimmerbrook with his mom, sister, and fiancee.
I still think he’s one of the most perfect Sims I’ve seen.
At any rate, Darrel thinks the idea sounds pretty good–he’d support it and maybe even make a contribution. Plants are good, right?
Case explains some of the details of the proposal to Aadhya, and while he’s right at the point where he describes how mycelium can be re-established, even if it’s been wiped out by toxins or lack of conifer roots, she walks off, smiling over her shoulder.
“I’m sure you’ll think of everything,” she says.
“But I didn’t get to the part where I explain how mycelium is like the Internet of the ecosystem.”
“That’s OK,” she says, “I’ll take your word on that.”
Later that evening, Tina Tinker comes by. Case has taken to calling her Tinker Tailor. He calls her wife Soldier Spy. He hasn’t met her daughter yet.
“I brought you something,” Tinker Tailor says, “out of gratitude. And because I think you’re cool.”
“I’m cool? What are you talking about?”
But Case is cool, and Tina Tinker has noticed. She’s noticed that he’s got the eyes to see what’s wrong in this community, and he’s got the mind to think of what might be done to fix it, and he’s got the intelligence to realize that, none of it, is simple or without ramifications, but that doesn’t stop him, anyway.
The gift isn’t much–just five eco-upgrade parts. But it’s something he needed for some projects around the place, to make the solar panels a bit more efficient. It’s something that someone else who notices, thinks, and realizes might select to give to somebody like her.