it was the last pinball arcade in the city, maybe in the world.
there was no one in the place except dooley and the wrinkled old man reading a magazine behind the counter where tokens to insert in the pinball machines could be purchased.
dooley did not look up or say anything when white approached. but she did not really look that interested in her game.
“you know,” said white, looking around the arcade, “it seems like everywhere you go these days it’s empty. like where i work, over at wendy’s. and the streets, everywhere.”
“maybe because it’s snowing,” dooley answered.
“but it’s all the time. they say there are billions of people in the world, but where are they? i never see them.”
“you came over here in the snow to tell me that?”
“no, no, listen, i heard something something tonight i thought you might be interested in.”
dooley did not answer, but white proceeded to tel her about the parts of the conversation between joe b and murphy that she had overheard at wendy’s.
“what do you think of that?”
“interesting. kind of interesting,” dooley said, without looking up from her game.
“kind of interesting?”
“i figured there would be something like this.”
“sure. it’s the system. the system is collapsing. they have to do something to try to prop up the system. “
white considered this. “is that why there is nobody in the streets, because the system is collapsing?”
“no, there is nobody in the streets because it is snowing.”
“oh. well i thought you might like to know, about what i heard,”
“i do, i do. thank you.”
“you’re welcome, i’m sure. you going to do anything about it?”
“i’ll have to think about it.” dooley gave the pinball machine a shove and it lit up and said “tilt!”
“damn! i haven’t done that in two weeks.”