- Foreword: Writing Rochester's Futures
- "Interesting Times"
- "Culinary Capital, 2034"
- "Night Bells"
- "Hollow Lives"
- "The Naked Girl"
- "Time Enough for Love"
- "Day of the Bicentennial"
- "One City at a Time"
- "Want Not"
- "The Costs of Survival"
- "Getting Wet"
- "Top 10 Headlines, Rochester, NY, 2034"
- "North Star Pipeline"
- "The 2034 Lilac Festival"
- "Scotch and Sizzlenuts on the Resolute Bay"
- "Fads (or Why Jerry Loathes the Aliens)" [FULL TEXT, AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY]
"One City at a Time"
“Good morning, Bea.”
Beatrice Bonaccio lifted her head from the weeds, trowel in hand. Shaundra Douglas stood on the sidewalk. Shaundra smiled widely, showing very white teeth.
“Oh, hi. Hi.” Bea stood and brushed her pants off with one hand, then pointed the trowel at the weeds with the other. “I was, well, you know, clearing out the weeds. I waited all summer and now it's August and they’ve overwhelmed, like, everything. . . .”
She looked around, as if the weeds were consuming the street. Really, though, it was to take note of how much more neat the neighbors’ yards were.
“Woman, you don’t need to explain. The way you work! I work half as much and still haven’t pulled weeds that are growing past my windows.”
Bea shook her head. It wasn’t true, but she appreciated the comment. They smiled at each other a moment and then Bea realized that Shaundra was working up to something. It struck her that she’d never seen Shaundra walking here—it was two blocks from Shaundra’s house on Crawford Street.
“How’s your boy?” Shaundra asked.
“Tony? He’s fine. I think. Is something . . . ?”
“I . . . ” Shaundra’s smile faded. “I’m wondering if we should separate the boys.”
Bea’s hands dropped to her sides. “Oh,” she whispered. “Oh. But . . . but Steve is Tony’s best friend. Kind of his only friend. Tony would . . . ” She blinked. “Did Tony do something wrong?”
“No, no. No. He’s a fine boy. I just worry sometimes. Those two, Steve and Tony, you know. Has Tony been, well, spending all his time in the basement?”
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