Shovel Ready

Shovel Ready

A Spademan Novel

Adam Sternbergh

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

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Brownstone, limestone, some kind of moneystone.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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The too-sharp edges of the actual world.

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

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

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Not many people order the abyss, straight up.

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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.

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Mina Machina.

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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.

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Burial plot. The last luxury item on Earth.

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

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