Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Google Car Drives by my Life


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A dark wave slides past my house smearing the realistic sunny day as if it were oil paint. I scroll around the view looking for myself, my wife, and our children. I look to see evidence of what day it is, before what or after when we moved the bags of dirt, cut back the weed trees, parked which car where. I look for neighbours, blue boxes, readable license plates, or signs of delivered mail. The dog isn't at the window barking at satellites. I scroll toward the sky, look for clouds, for the sun, look to see a satellite looking back at me, taking pictures. No one is breaking into the house, the street is empty, my car is...perhaps I am at work? Perhaps my wife has the car and I'm in the back yard, oblivious. But that smear? Is the car moving? Are the paints of the world, the pixels of Hamilton washing away? A Google car has driven by my life when I wasn't there and taken pictures. There is evidence of its looking, of its moving, of its path through my city and our lives. Did the driver stop for coffee at the local coffee shop? Did he park his car just down the street, call his ex-wife's answering machine and hang up when he heard his children's message, then weep? Was he cranking CCR on the radio? Was the window open and he breathed my air? Where is he now, driving the grids of other cities, of other people's worlds? He hasn't made it to my parents' house, though he has been by my Irish childhood home. If he had a collision, would that be recorded? Is that the smear? A visual wail as he passed by my place sometime this summer when the helpful outside light of the world was on and all was quiet on Dufferin St.?

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