“What should I do?”
“What do you do despite no one giving you anything for it?”
“Nothing. I drink, eat, sleep. I bath. Go to toilet. Breathe. Nothing else really … ah, I fuck. But that’s already exchange, I guess.”
“So you exchange.”
“Well, not exactly. That’s too broad a — “
“ Ooh! Exchange is a broad term. You said it yourself. You eat and drink, then you go to toilet. You breathe, … “ Shadow — eyebrows raised, slightly amused — stared at Egon.
“ … “
“You see,” Shadow continued, “everything is an exchange. The question is what you love to exchange. Not necessarily what brings you relief, but what you do, even if the only payback is just experience and a brief flash of fulfillment of doing the doing and following through with it.”
“A great excuse for someone who wants to try killing for fun.”
“Killing is theft. Not a free exchange.”
“So billionaires get a pass for convincing people to give them their money and voluntarily starve to death as a result. After all, it’s just because the heck of it. Nothing personal and both parties agree to play the game.”
“Business is not a free exchange either. You agree to terms that are enforced by physical threats. A set of rules that punishes breaking them and, what’s more important, where nonparticipation is defined as one of the most grave offenses.”
“Still, you have a choice. You can disagree.”
“Indeed. You can refuse to pay your taxes which eventually results in bulky guys, some of them with guns, taking your things away. Or you can pay your taxes and save yourself the trouble.”
“I see, … so you can only bring the system down.”
“If you can,” Shadow smiled.
“Well, I guess I’ll write down our exchange,” Egon burst out in laughter, then his face became serious, “and depending on how things turn out, I’ll share it with others.”
Shadow remained silent. After a while, Egon made himself a cigarette and went for a smoke.