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This week, the boys are doing a little LARPing.
We’re thinking about unlicensed gyms – invitation-only, with three letters of recommendation. No listing, no signage, no cell phones – and Faraday shielding in the walls.
We’re thinking about high-rise luxury office space owned by an LLC with a forgettable name, that conducts no business other than paying the lease on time.
We’re thinking about young men’s academies with strict physical fitness standards and outdoor instruction.
We’re thinking about a big, beautiful house out in the country.
As you walk in, you surrender your phone to the doorman. In the basement you find rows of squat cages and grimy free weights on bare concrete; a reeking boxing mat; an oppressive, droning shop fan. Then the dense cedar heat of the sauna, then the plunge pool, then the showers. The whole basement thrums with flowing air and water, and you are lightly dressed – a good place to discuss business.
Back on the main floor, the kitchen is stocked with clean, human food. The parlor has tables for cards and chess and close, sharp talk—but also low Oriental sofas for lounging and rumination. The upper floor holds the library, stocked with our most-beloved books, useful technical manuals, out-of-print histories, etc.
Maybe we bring the wives & kids to the grounds for barbecues. If we choose a sufficiently out-of-the-way corner of the country, we can put it on a hundred acres, with woods and ponds and streams. Maybe we board horses and cattle there, and fish in the pond, and hunt in the woods. Maybe we build a workshop, and the tradesmen in the group teach us and our sons how to sweat a pipe or change out an alternator.
We wouldn’t all need to move to the country to have a place that was our own: a legacy, a shared inheritance. We would have to raise our heirs carefully to keep it. What would you give for a place like that? If we couldn’t afford contractors, we would conscript Chase as our foreman and build it together. Honestly, though, I’m pretty sure we already have the money. What we don’t have is proximity. Where would you build it? What would you include?
EXIT is not about running off into the woods. We are gathering resources and connections so that we can build new institutions in the real world; planting trees for our grandchildren to sit under. Constantinople was also a LARP.