I’ve just decided I can’t do everything before I die, says The Boomer.
What do you mean – climb Everest, steal a kiss from Tina Turner, learn to play the sackbut, shake Donald Trump’s hand? I say.
Tina who? says Ms Millennial behind the diner counter, pouring the coffee.
Rob a bank, says The Boomer. I’ve always wanted to rob a bank. That’s something I can do in the time I have left.
Did you also budget twenty years in prison? says our waitress, scoffing in good Millennial style.
Oh, the bank I want to rob the cops don’t care about, says The Boomer.
Name this bank, I say.
It’s more of an international cartel with money stuffed everywhere.
You mean want to rob all the world’s drug traffickers?
It’s the least I can do for the world before I shuffle off.
Try that and they may help you die ahead of schedule, I say.
The Boomer takes out a bit of marijuana and cigarette paper, rolls a joint and lights up.
You can’t smoke that stuff in here, says the Millennial. You oldies go smoke outside. Shoo!
We do and we share tokes with passersby.
Why do you think it’s your job to bankrupt all the world’s drug traffickers? I ask The Boomer.
Because our generation made this drugs mess and I say we clean it up. We destroy the drug cartels by stealing their money. We do that by legalizing drugs. They go broke. Bingo.
“Bingo?” says the Millennial, joining us on the sidewalk and lighting up her factory-rolled joint. I wish you golden oldies would speak English.
What do you think of The Boomer’s scheme? I ask her.
I’m a Millennial, she says. I try not to think too much. It distracts from blowing weed.
She sucks in some smoke and says as she exhales, When I think about drugs at all, I wonder why fight them? Dope is bad stuff but it’s not going to sink the country, is it? Besides it’s done some good things for us.
Like what? splutters The Boomer.
The war on drugs is like the war on terrorists, says the Millennial. It’s made us build a huge structure full of jobs and expensive drug tests and wonderful new surveillance inventions. Bankrupt the drug cartels and what have we got?
A bump up in the unemployment rolls? The Boomer says weakly.
Don’t be so optimistic, says the Millennial. The word is “depression.”
So we need drugs and the drug war to keep employment up and the economy going? The Boomer says, agog.
Until we can think of a better way to provide jobs, says the Millennial, like building rocket ships to boost astronauts to Alpha Centauri or maybe something even tougher – ending disease and poverty and ignorance everywhere on Earth.
Yeah, like that will ever happen, says The Boomer.
That’s why we need drugs, says the Millennial.
© 2016 Steven Hardesty