Raven threatens to move out
It starts as soon as I knock on her door. “Hey, Kid, you got a second?”
“Come out here, please. I want to talk to you.”
“Can it wait?”
“Honey, I think it would be better if we talked now.”
She opens the door and it’s like we’ve flashed back to when she was fifteen and everything was stupid. The cocked hip, the look on her face, the attitude.
She props herself against the doorframe and says one word. “What?”
“I think we need to talk more about what you’re doing.”
“What exactly am I doing?”
“Cleaning up Bitcoin or whatever you’re calling it. Tracking these transactions. Three guys tried to kidnap you, for crying out loud.”
“So you’re saying that I should quit as soon as things get a little bit uncomfortable? Sounds like great life advice, Dad. Anything else I should quit while I’m at it?”
“Raven, that’s not what I’m saying.”
“Sounds like it to me.” I almost wish I could give her some gum so she could pop it to emphasize her disdain for what I am saying.
“I’m just saying that maybe it might be a good time to back off for a bit. Besides, ever since that day, you’ve been spending too much time at it. You’re not acting like yourself.”
“Who am I acting like? You? I don’t think somebody who mopes around all day because he got everything he ever wanted is necessarily qualified to be dispensing life advice.”
“Honey, I’m not trying to tell you what to do or how to live your life. I’m — ”
“So what are you doing? Because it sure seems to me you’re telling me what to do.”
“I’m saying maybe discretion is the better part of valor here.”
“And let those jerks think they’ve won? No.” She scoffs. “Since we’re quoting people now, try this one. ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ It’s a nice quote even though nobody knows who said it.”
“I’m not saying do nothing. Maybe instead of continuing to poke the monster, organize everything you’ve and give it to the police. Or the FBI.”
“The FBI? Jesus, Dad, they’re part of the problem. We might as well —”
“Look, Kid — ”
“I’m not a kid. I’m twenty years old. In case you forgot, I’m the reason we’re here. I’m the one who saw what Bitcoin was going to do, not you. You thought you were such a great Dad, humoring me with it. Only I was right. And, if I hadn’t said anything, you’d still be working yourself to death in a job you hated just because you thought that was what life was supposed to be like.
“Well, life’s not supposed to be like that. Life’s not supposed to suck. And it sucks for millions of people. Billions. Damnit. Billions of people. And a huge part of the reason it sucks is because of governments printing fake money whenever they want. The US government is the worst offender, and the FBI is one of their biggest bullies.
“And you think Bitcoin is going to save the world?”
“No. Probably not. Maybe, but…at least I am doing something, okay? I’m not just sitting around being unhappy like you are. I’m doing something.”
“But what if that thing gets you hurt or, God-forbid, killed?”
Raven shook her head. “Dad, all you do is look at the downside.”
“What do you mean?”
She opened her eyes wide. “Do you remember how happy we were when I first told you about the money? It was like we won the game of life. But ever since we got down here, you’ve been playing not to lose.
“Kid, that’s — ”
She stamped her foot. “Let me finish! I don’t know why you do it. I don’t know if it’s from working on the Slope and always worrying about stuff blowing up, or if it’s because Mom died, but I can’t live like that. I can’t only look at the negative. I’ve got to play to win. And that means tracking these jerks down so they don’t just get to wreck people’s lives.”
“I get that, Raven, and I admire your bravery, but these guys, whoever they are, they tried to kidnap us. They’re trying to wreck our lives. It’s not generalized shittiness, it’s targeted. Specific people are trying to mess with us. I think it’s worth being cautious for a little bit.”
“Cautious. You want to be cautious while the seas warm and the world burns and the sixth extinction rages on and the rich get richer and everyone else gets more and more screwed? The good old prevent defense. Is that what you want?”
“No, it’s not what I want. But I also don’t want to get hurt. Or have you get hurt.”
“Well, instead of complaining about me being proactive, do something that will help. Like getting the permit for the gun. Or helping me instead of bugging me.”
“You know I’ve already filled out all the paperwork for both of us to get guns. But it takes time.”
“Paperwork. It’s always forms and procedures with you. You’re such a good little cog, Dad. You really are.” She sighed and rubbed her face. “This is pointless. I should move out, get my own place, start a hacker co-op or something. A co-living space. Get some community going.” Her face brightened as she warmed to the idea.
“Look, Kid, don’t turn this into something it’s not. I’m not trying to get you to move out.”
“But you’re not letting me do my thing, either. That was our deal, and it worked for a while, but…yeah. That co-op was a good idea. Thanks for forcing it out of me.” She edged back into her room. “Um, anything else you want to talk about?”
“Raven, honey, please, come sit down. This isn’t how I wanted this to go.”
“You’re not always going to get what you want, Dad. I seem to remember you telling me that a time or two.” She raised her eyebrows and cocked her head to one side.
“I’m not a kiddo. Not anymore. I’ve got a couple problems, and I just identified a solution to one, so I’m going to work on that.”
Raven looked at me. When I didn’t say anything, she stepped the rest of the way into her room and closed the door.