Chromium visitors, a psychogeographic review of Chrome "The visitation"
I have left home light years too early, only ten minutes ago but the road already feels endless, and I am not so sure of my goal, although I do have an appointment with a priest.
I am playing the CDr I burned of "The visitation" on this strange journey to the end of Shirakawa street, a meandering succession of false starts, minor collisions and sudden intersections.
This is a confusing area, I pass the fine arts school and chrome is indeed all over the place, I keep passing garages and gas stations, as if this part of town was cars only. Drive-in city. Out here, buses barely exist, steered by semi-retired androids, shuttling pensioners between the home and the hospital, nowhere to stop in between, they wouldn't recognize the land anyway, its features were erased overnight to facilitate frantic transportation, a state of restless mobility compelling citizens to abandon past and future alike for an ever-growing array of present times.
I peer inside a sand-colored Toyota elbowing me at the red light, surprised to see a human driver ; I expected an IBM droid finger-fucking the dashboard, instead the woman behind the wheel is nervously fiddling with the CD player, puzzled as if she was wondering what happened to her 8-track. She takes out her cellphone as the green light force-beam pulls me along the flow of vehicles.
They are mostly black or white luxury sedans in regalia, spotless, shiny, real-leather, compact discs, no different from taximeter cabriolets except for the absence of roof sign, certainly a mark of higher social status among automobiles, as among suburban housewives, the motorized ones far superior to their lower bicycling counterparts, pushing around their inadequate mobility on shameful spokes. Me, I pedal vengefully on my too small BMX, northward on sidewalks through rusty streets and thick gasoline fumes, a wandering affront to the affluence of hair salons, bakeries, bridal suites and pet shops.
"Caroline" has to be the name of one of the sleazy love-motels to the east of the road. For now, all the action is happening in plastic cups in parked trucks, as various colors of workers cycle through hot and cold liquids, following the flux of matter through their beat systems, processed, excreted and back, processed again, ad diarrheam.
The sidewalk disappears ahead in traffic and I find myself dodging delivery trucks and taxis in a long curve, speeding along a rusted rail that bears the marks of automobile aggression, bumped, scraped, bent, the end is torn as if munched on by a particularly hungry lorry.
It starts to rain, the cars have gone, I'm riding along a narrow canal of filthy liquids, rows of neat grey houses. Undecipherable signs stare me down, indicating neighboring areas where humans once lived before suburban darkness set in, the sidewalks are covered in moss, soylent grey for the savvy survivor.
A mailman on a red moped passes me, carrying news from the future, I think for a second of racing him, but he pulls over to slip 8-inch floppy disks inside the old analog mailboxes, I carry on into the heart of greyness ahead.
I stop to check on my rain-soaked hand-written map, future punks use pencils, I can't read the address anyway, all I can tell is that the house I'm looking for is located in the holy triangle of a car-wash, an automated parking system and a convenience store. Twenty minutes pass and all I can find is the convenience store, I'm getting late for my appointment, it is my fault, my destination can clearly only be reached by car, the path invisible to the unmotorized, didn't the Bible have a chapter on this? Perhaps this is the first test, purity of heart and oil. I'm about to give up when my heart vibrates, I remove my earphones, God on the phone, wondering if I'm lost. I penitently accept to meet at the combini parking lot.
Half of a half-dozen minutes pass, the sun starts shining when the divine range-rover appears, I lock my wheels against the slick store wall, catching a reflection of my defeated eyes, blue-jeans to a job interview with a priest, I'm barely visible among immaculate windshields and glistening hubcaps.
Strange things happen next, a story certainly, but where I parked doesn't matter here, it's the wheels I got there on.