Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I have noticed that all the roads in Georgia warp back upon themselves in a disaster of urban planning. Driving to new places, I often feel like the kitten trapped in the center of an endless tangle of yarn. thing is, the shops don't change -- the restaurants. I pass different boxes and colors and letters that are all relatively similar. The houses in long lines and tracks are all from the same waves of builders, and all look like pretty similar if you squint a little. Painted differently, perhaps.

If I was in a bubble, or a matrix, this is kind of what it would be like. Roads looping back on themselves to maintain the illusion at the edge of the world, and quickly placed assets that convey a depth to the world without actually requiring too much in the way of total variation.

These thoughts kept me up at night. I squinted at the stars, and pondered the possibility of a glass dome. I looked upon the woods at the city limits and wondered why no walkign trails continued on beyond the treeline, and why no farms or ranches extended out that way. The maps told me there were highways, but among the forested hills of Georgia, and the way the roads twist around so much, it would be easy for a skilled architect to hide the illusions. If I took a compass in hand, and walked in a straight line for thirty miles, would I reach the end of the world?

How could I tell? I am trained to go to work every morning, shop at grocery stores and relax in establishments that are indoors. Even the campgrounds are cordoned off around approved rivers. There are wild places, but I am not among them.

Did the ecology collapse outside this bubble place? Did we get sent here to save the life outside of it? Are we experiments, studied or perhaps forgotten.

Late at night, I walk the streets along a path of safety lit by strategically-placed lamps. Last night, I saw a herd of deer grazing in someone's yard. They were small, no taller than my chest. They looked at me nervously, like I was about to chase them off my neighbor's yard. I looked back at them. They had huge, glassy eyes, like black lenses. They held as still as street lamps.

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