Welcome to Downtown Marsopolis. There’s no welcome committee because that would be inane. It’s not that sort of a neighborhood. But if you can handle yourself – that is, don’t try to fluster people’s focus with fluffy opinions – they’ll reward you with a conspiratorial wink at some point. Some people moved here ages ago, natal Mars squares are an automatic in.
You need it. Real estate agents in Downtown Marsopolis are openly strung out and it’s not just the Space Dust. Their antennae are twitching, sensing a completely new paradigm. But if they can’t sell it, sleep with it or snort it, it takes too long to parse. So they’ve got a conspiracy theory going that the increasingly repetitive property styling artwork is possessed. “Why is it always that same topless woman with the thing across her boobs?” they whisper to one another.
If you think this doesn’t sound that Mars-like, re-calibrate: These are people who can sum up the state, make and cost of your shoes within nano-seconds. They then cast those numbers into an algorithm with your toenail texture/degree of obsessive exfoliation and posture to arrive at an accurate summation of your financial position/propensity for illegal home businesses/messy relationships.
The Property Styling Artwork Is Possessed
It takes chutzpah to insist that the sewer under the house is a Brutalist architecture water feature by a hipster artist that the cognoscenti are all investing in. And real concentration to interrogate a hot potential tenant about their single status and income at the same time you’re painstakingly photoshopping in a lawn or polished oak floorboards as well as s**t-posting on your competitor’s social media accounts via one of your several fake personae.
The nice thing about this end of town is that there are few illusions. Every time one pops up, people stay up all night trying to eradicate it like a computer virus, scanning their brain like it was a hard-drive and they know there is at least one more crapdos.exe auto command in there.
When you live in Marsopolis, you’re not paranoid but you know that there are a lot of hidden folders and underground lines of things. If you want legit data, you need a hard hat with a headlamp, metaphorical or not. Fashion is functional here, closer to armor than decoration. It can’t itch or tinkle when you stride. Nobody has a job here but they’re always working – on themselves, a project, a mysterious ‘thing’, cracking some code, their crypto, cyber-security, an enterprise…
And few things phase the residents. They greet plague, corrupt cardinals, and the debauching of money with the same ‘that’d be right‘ mantra and derisive smirk.
Image: Jack Kirby