Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Spain is florid with graffiti. It’s on the walls along the railroad tracks of course, but also on the trains, even encroaching on the windows. At the station in our little beachside town the tunnel under the tracks was completely covered with tags and messages: All police are bastards, Welcome to Altaganja.

What a luxury it is to sit before the blank screen, with nothing to write, the front door open and the sound of a lawnmower in the distance. Nothing to do in the future but swim in the pool and bob for hours in the gentle waves of the Mediterranean.

I recognized the streets, the walls, the contours of town from Google Maps. Everything was in place. As we crossed the bridge over the tracks I looked for something—anything—unexpected. Maybe the blotchy pattern of plaster on the wall of the building down there. But it was only a matter of time before Google cataloged that as well. When will their project be complete? When every paint chip, every cobweb, every blade of glass is documented—and its growth and decay in real time as well. Then the universe will finally be demystified and we can all go back to sleep.