By Benjamin Rosenbaum and Ethan Ham – Photo by Warren R.M. Stuart

In the spring, forget-me-nots and lilacs grow around the base of the gondola station. Tibor stops to smell them.

There’s another man here, in the gray coveralls of the gondola maintenance team. An old man, with thick black glasses.

The urge to speak sneaks into Tibor’s belly. Even though he can’t see how speaking will improve transport. He yawns and cracks his back, seeing in his minds’ eye the pulsing flow of goods and people through the gondolas, trams and slidewalks of the city’s transportation system.

He stoops down and takes another deep breath of forget-me-nots and lilacs. A silken, exciting, soothing smell. The urge to speak is strong, stronger than usual. As if a space has opened up between Tibor and his purpose in life.

“I know your face,” he says to the man.

Vreeder nods, once, quickly, and squints reflexively, under the glasses.

Tibor wants to tell him that it’s okay to talk. He looks down the mountain, down the long green slope, speckled with flowers, towards the city ringed in fog.

Instead he says, “you got rid of money.”

Vreeder shakes his head, irritated. He clearly wants to begin the audit of backup cable, but some need of his own belly roots his boots to the ground.

“It had a will of its own, too,” Tibor says. “Didn’t it? Money? They used to call it the Invisible Hand. Was that the same as the city? Or was it a joke?”

Vreeder twists his foot into the ground, like an impatient bull, opening up a divot of black earth beneath the grass. Petals fall. “Lots of things have wills of their own,” he says finally.

Above them, the wheel of the gondola begins to turn and creak.