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daily – 9

“I’m going over Barry’s!”

I open my mouth, but I can already hear the air seal setting on the front door as it slides shut.

Tapping the screen to transparent, I look through it and out the window, waiting to see Patrick’s scooter. The sun’s almost set behind our complex, and the line of alternating white and blue fronts of the complex across the road are peach and purple in the dimming light. On the front walk, Patrick unfolds the scooter as he walks away. Snapping it into the L-shape and hopping onto it in one easy motion, he’s off again.

The environmental air seal not only keeps the condo air clean, it also soundproofs most everything, so I don’t hear the screech of the old Toyota Camry’s tires when Patrick hops the curb without looking before swerving back onto the sidewalk. He also can’t hear me shout at him in momentary terror.

Tapping the screen back to solid, I ping his headset with my direct line.

“It wasn’t my fault,” he snaps defensively. I hear the rattle of the Toyota’s muffler passing by, the whoosh of air past Patrick’s ears, the hum of traffic, the streetlight at the corner signaling the time to walk for the visually impaired.

“You didn’t even look,” I bluster, angrier than I expected to be. What was he thinking? “I was watching! If you can’t use that thing safely, I’ll take it right away!”

“Fine. Whatever.”

The words ‘Don’t you ‘whatever’ me, young man!’ pop into my head, but I’m distracted by the last report requests, which have just added the red full priority tag. Overnight work. Somebody’s screwed something up, somewhere, and, as usual, it rolls downhill. Right into my inbox.

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