The Sweat of the Brow (43)

The bed’s too soft and my back’s too hard and I almost can’t get up. I have to roll onto my side and get my hands under me. It takes ten minutes. It hurts. I manage not to call for help.

I get coffee and burnt fruit in a cafe. I turn off my inner ear and listen to the languages around me. Old Basque men speaking old Basque words. Then I switch back to English. I have to remember to turn back the mouth-sync. Hearing English from lips that are clearly forming Other makes my eyes hurt.

I hear a guitarist on a street-corner. I smoke a cigarette and cough. I walk to the middle of the Puente Colgante and watch the river rush beneath. I sit on a bench. I hide from the rain. I go to the old lighthouse and a local voice tells me of its history.

I start going into stores. There are more and more of them all over. We thought for a while they’d die out. Anyone can sit at home and close their eyes or keep them open and see any item in any store in the world. Turns out people like wandering the aisles. Turns out people like products that haven’t been categorized and crossreferenced, broken down into words. When everything in the world fits on a spreadsheet it makes it easy to search and sort. Turns out people would rather blow the cobwebs off a bunch of junk in the hopes of finding something beyond categorization.

There’s an art gallery on the Paseo de la Canilla full of clockwork birds, in brass or steel, or pink quartz grown on nanotube nematodes corted into feather and cog. There’s a library of books written by local writers, another of books bound by a local binder or two. There are six types of fishing-boat to rent from quatrefoil to canoe. There are art galleries and craft stores and brothels. And there are antique stores, which is what occurs when it’s been more than a century since people started making things so that they’d end up antiques.

Nothing I couldn’t find in New York or Milan. Nothing I couldn’t find in Tallahassee. Nothing I couldn’t find anywhere – by cort.

Some people like to go to a store just to go to it. Some people read printed books or e-ink readers or papyrus scrolls. Some people think the future is a place where they can spend more time living in the past.

I stare at the wall and make a query, and am not surprised to find that Elexalde is Quiet.


~ by davekov on 31 July 2012.

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