The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Four – The Brewer 11
Preparation was over. It was time for a breather. The Brewer’s math tutor always told him not to solve problems on the day before the exam. To air out. Do what he loved to do. The Brewer loved fishing. Fishing was tough in the city. He hadn’t own any gear in years. Luckily, the city’s affliction to provide absolutely anything one could possible want was a keen one. After some digging he found out about a boat that left every morning into the open bottomless ocean. The trip was designed to entertain both professional and amateur fishermen. For a fee they provided everything on board.
The Brewer put his sturdiest clothes on and stepped outside his door. Fished his keys out of his pocket and paused. Something was bothering him. The micro-universe of the act of locking the door was not in balance. After consciously locking the two locks he always checked the door. He realized that was unnecessary and tried to skip it. But! Felt uneasy every time he did. He attempted to teach himself to avoid that expendable action. (For there was not a single instance the check was justified, the door was always locked.) He concentrated, making himself one hundred percent aware of the act of locking. The uneasiness, as he walked away, subsided but it did not disappear. He had to persist and practice.
As the train to his destination progressed the Brewer swallowed bigger and bigger slices of the scenery with his eyes, wedging them in while reading. He switched to a bus. At last he walked to the pier.
He joined the exotic congregation of Hemingway look-alikes.
‘So you think the division of labor had as a byproduct the deepening of social segregation!’ Requested clarification the priest.
The Brewer just listened in on the standers by.
‘No! I think the deepening of social segregation was well calculated into the division of labor. As the only possible solution. To long term economics (cheap mindless labor that is).’ Clarified Ron insightfully.
‘So you are trying to say that the mercantile wealthy had a design about society? A less than moral design!’ Ventured in the priest.
‘Well if they wanted everyone to be equal. If they were striving for equality in the long run they wouldn’t divide the labor. They would make average income and partner with craftsmen that would also make average income. Industries of scale and cost-cutting would have been abandoned. And. The social structure would gradually be flattened until all have the same income and everyone is happy. Ta-da!’ Ron gestured as if he was signing the bottom corner of a masterpiece. He also smiled widely to his frivolity.
‘So what do you think went wrong?’ The priest always smiled thoughtfully and started his short monologue boosters the same way.
‘In one word – greed! In so many words the definition of it. Growth! Modern society (all society’s for that matter) considers stagnation a deadly vice. So growth! Personal, professional, social, economical, cultural etc. ‘Why am I not promoted?’ ‘Why I don’t get a raise?’ Why is the economy growing so slow?’ ‘Why is our relationship not going anywhere?’ ‘Why I don’t have more friends?’ You see it everywhere! Growth is our world’s religion.’ Ron was nearly out of breath excited.
‘But some people are content with what they have. Working, providing for their families. Lots of people I encounter are not as mercantile-headed as you presume.’
‘I see! They work really hard so they can provide for their children right!’
‘So their children can go to good schools, get better jobs and have a better start in life. Right!’
‘So your friends are invested in the growth of their family.’ Ron skipped the smile to avoid the notion of condescension.
The priest smiled.
‘But I see your point. There are weeds in every garden. But! The world…’ Ron paused. ‘Gardening society is an evolving system.’
‘Are you are a gardener of society?’ Ventured in the Brewer.
‘In a way we all are. But to your question. Not really.’
‘We are boarding. Let’s go fellas.’ Ushered the priest.
It was minutes to daybreak.
‘You must speak for a living?’ Further inquired the Brewer as they stepped into the boat.
‘Good call.’ Said Ron then paused as to weigh the Brewer. ‘I am a sport psychologist.’
‘Like a couch?’
‘Yes, mental couch.’
‘Would you define that!’ The Brewer was feeling talkative as the fresh air poured in and they took their seats in front of the fishing rods on the side of the boat.
Stay tuned for next week’s installment of The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer – Tuesday, April 5.
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more by PETER ODEON
photograph by Chris Davis