“I wanna live in a mews.” These words Garret speaks to Joseph, as they sit on a couch in Joseph’s apartment.
“There’s Washington Mews and Lombard Mews, both on Lombard, but you’d have to move south. I don’t think there’s a mews in No Libs or Fishtown. . . .”
Garret shakes his head in disagreement. “Joseph, you’re a small thinker.”
“A small thinker?”
“Because you’re missing the point.”
“Enlighten me, please.”
“We’re going to build a mews, right here in Fishtown. We’ll call it . . . Fishtown Mews.”
Joseph stares at his friend, waiting for him to laugh and give up the joke, but it doesn’t happen. Garret just stares back at him, his eyes suddenly passionate, intense.
“Dude, what are you talking about? How are we going to build a mews?”
“It’s not a question of how, Joe, the question is: when? And the answer is: soon.”
“Actually, Garret, the question is how?, and the answer is, you don’t know how, because you don’t know the first thing about buying land, let alone designing and building a mews, not to mention the fact that you don’t have any money. In fact, a better question is: why are we having this conversation?”
Again Garret shakes his head, this time slowly, disappointed. “I never thought you’d be so negative. Dare I say, ‘a hater.’ But I suppose this is how all revolutionary ideas are received. When Edison first imagined a light bulb, his buddy probably said, ‘shut up and get me a candle.’ When Ford designed his first car, his friends probably asked, ‘what, you don’t like horses?’ The list goes on. . . .”
“Alright, Garret, go ahead, tell me your plan to build this mews.”
“Well, the idea came to me the other day as I walked along Frankford Ave. There are still plenty of empty lots and shell properties between Frankford and Front. I just need to go down to City Hall, research who owns the various lots and shells, call around a bit, and find out who’s willing to make a deal.”
“What about money?”
“I think when potential investors hear about my vision for the mews, they’ll line up to get involved. I mean, it’s an exciting thing, a mews.”
“Who will design it?”
“Right, okay, I suppose once you have your funding in place, you could hire them.” Now Joseph’s having fun with their chat, Garret still serious.
“Yes, I can, and I will. Don’t you see, Joseph? A mews is always a desirable place to live. I mean, we’ll make it a totally awesome place, don’t get me wrong, but just the fact that we’ll call it a mews will make people want to live there, whether they know it or not. Think of how nice and neat your address would be if it were, say, 42 Fishtown Mews?”
“That which we call a mews by any other name would be as neat.”
“Are you mocking me, Joseph?”
“Alright, well, mock all you want. But I’m going to do this. I’ve had an epiphany. I realized this is my career goal, the contribution I wanna make to my city, my purpose. Fishtown Mews . . . I’m determined, and I’m going to make it happen, with or without your help.” Garret gathers his cell phone and windbreaker and leaves without saying goodbye.
Joseph laughs out loud, wondering how far his friend’s ambition will take him.