Open on fog rolling across a digital city. The year is last year. It’s your city, the one inside you. Your imagination was augmented cheaply in a datashop and now you can walk forward, into yourself. Tonight, you’re ready to lay back and drive through the edgelands. Tom Waits driving the desert, alone except for the radio. You take a model car to the edge of your memories and punch in a date to build a moonrise from your brain scan from two years ago. You cruise across a songscape from a few months of your 22nd year, when you listened to that one album high, so many times. Finally near the clipping darkness at the edge of town, you kill the engine and roll across pixel grass in neutral, and you’re listening to the fake bass sound of the suspension feeling the hillside as the sun sets over the city of your education.
FInally the car stops. No dust. You close the door and the auto skin shimmers before disappearing, to leave the view of history unobstructed. You’re looking down and across a freeway between birth and Southern California, 2016, when you lived in a garden house before the drought times sucked the life from the energy grid, leaving Los Angeles harsh and expensive. But the city inside continued to live on, like a tomb of feeling. Here, at the end of your synthesized memory, the textures blend with samples from the real Los Angeles, the LA of satellite images. It’s hard to tell where your feelings about that year end, and how the computer begins.
So you focus on the very darkest corners, and walk up into the canyon, where the small tress lean away from the orange sunset. It’s blurry and spooky up in there, at the place where worry mixed with hope, but you’re still aware of the computer and your chair, and the smell of cannabis burning slightly in an ashtray, your condo in Buenos Aries, thousands of miles away from whenever you want to be tonight. Time is being traveled like a game-trail in lower Manhattan. Ride the feeling, way ahead of the interface, miles ahead of the technology and the dead culture of software. The first time you jack in – you’ll remember it, you’ll try to get back to that point. But at the same time, you were already trying to get back to something, something that happened way earlier, in another decade, in another city.
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