Shovel Ready: A Spademan Novel

Adam Sternbergh

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when only poor people use something, no one takes care of it. Roads, schools, neighborhoods. Subways too.

Brownstone, limestone, some kind of moneystone.

Can’t tell if he’s halfway to getting dressed or just all the way to no longer caring.

Since the beds got up and running, sucking up all the bandwidth, the boring old Internet survives mostly as an afterthought, kept alive like a public utility for people who can’t afford to tap in. So, like a decaying neighborhood, all the money in the Internet moved out. And, like a decaying neighborhood, the Internet is now mostly a refuge for poor folks and perverts, people in the shadows, by choice or not. Just a place where you can log on to advertise your junk, then swap it for someone else’s junk, then revel for a day in new junk.

I raise the glass. Solemnly promise. I will get to the bottom of this.

I know it’s a cliché to be a hard drinker in my profession. But it’s the one part I do really well.

Needle in a haystack. Never did understand that expression. Fuck searching, just buy another needle

Every human being who’s ever lived has died, except the living.

You’ll leave a trail of trash on this Earth that will far exceed anything of worth you leave behind. For every ounce of heirloom, you leave a ton of landfill.

Sometimes you’re on the toilet and you’ve already read all the magazines. Inspiration hits.

The too-sharp edges of the actual world.

Mark bows his head to say grace. Persephone follows. I succumb to peer pressure.

It’s not a terrible idea. Let’s set the bar for ideas a little higher than not terrible.

Not many people order the abyss, straight up.

The door says SOCIAL CLUB, but really it’s just a bunch of old guys playing cards who know how to make you feel unwelcome.

Mina Machina.

rough cobblestones underfoot. These ones aren’t made of gold, just cobble. Brought over in the bellies of empty cargo ships as ballast, then unpacked here and used to pave a new world.

Burial plot. The last luxury item on Earth.

Harrow always said that he hoped to build a heaven. We send him six feet in the opposite direction.