The Water Line
Tim Maughan


J: Bill, I need your help. I’ve kinda reached a dead end here.

B: They didn’t even put you on the wait list?

J: Fuckers.
J: You’ve got to fix this.

B: Jack, listen, I got problems of my own.

J: Whoever we need to bring in, let’s bring in.

B: Jack –

J: Who do we know down at the State house?

B: Nobody.

J: Somebody’s got to owe me a favor –

B: All new people now, you know that, Jack.

J: Look Bill, this is important. If we don’t get in –

B: What? What happens?

J: Jenny and I go live in the Basin.

B: You’re relo to the Basin? What part?

J: Who cares? It’s all horrible. You’ve got to fix this.

B: Because if it’s the north part, we can be neighbors.

J: What?

B: Hard to believe we have the same ecodamage score as you and Jenny. I must have had a better time than I remember.

J: You’ve been relo’ed to the Basin?

B: Maybe you’re a curse, Jack. A taint. Like King Midas. Everything you touch turns to fucking carbon. Maybe you and Jenny put me and Abby in the Basin. Your score is so high it just slops over.

J: Bill, don’t do this. We have to stick together.

B: Oh we will, Jack. All of us, the old gang. Down in the Basin. Until it floods.
B: At least I got waitlisted.

J: Because of Abby. Her big heart.

B: Her big heart’s been hurting, Jack. For real, you know that. She told me thirteen thousand people died again today. Not counting Dubai.

J: Dubai can pay for its own fucking ecodamages.

B: Abby says we’re lucky to get the Basin.

J: Bill, if you and Abby do get into the co-op, you’ll — you’ll see what you can do?
J: Bill?
J: Get me on the waitlist at least?

B: Sure. Sure, Jack. For old times’ sake, I’ll see what I can do.

(Inspired by the voicemail “Intentional Community” on

“Intentional Community” leaked to us from the year 2056.)

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