* * * * * Entropic Forest * * * * *

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The city is alive; that's what they say. As if they know what they are talking about. Thinking it's a clever metaphor. But what if we took that literally (although not humanizing the city like Gaia Believers)? The city and its people, depending on each other but neither realizing the opponent's function, creating a strange coexistence. City as a living organism, and people as its unknowing agent.

Series No. 01



37 degrees.

So hot you could drop dead any moment, but the daytime sky on the way was strangely unreal and crisp. All the buildings there were also seedy and unreal. In an ill fated hasty attempt to enhance reality, they try to show off shallow sense of order, but the insane plastic hyper-realism that they boast was more of an overkill. Even the bunch of photos that I found on the lobby floor conveyed a sense of being put there on purpose.

From the 1980s to the 1990s, toward the end of the last century, these dense assortment of skyscrapers were created all over the planet. Some were abandoned during construction, still rotting away. On the spot. Others that were lucky enough to be completed didn't get any follow ups, and were left standing in isolation, playing stalemate with the low rise shacks around their footings. Some of the low rises are leftovers from last century, others are barracks that slowly encroached into the territory, and in many cases, high rises lose their battle and are invaded by them shacks. Here, too, they have these blind walls to hide the shacks.

Nowadays, they only make these in Sri Lanka and Teheran, or on the drawing board of some persistent design office and in the cerebral cortex of some megalomaniacs among us.

"But even here, they weren't supposed to have these buildings, U know." That's what Tazaki said when the last deal was closed, with his pretentious gestures (always does that when he speaks English.) "It was supposed to be this low rise humane urban environment, or something like that, but it... how U say, flaked off. When I was salariman fifty years ago, they started building these high rises like nothing. U see that low building down there? The former museum? That was the original idea. So, this is not supposed to be here, and that makes this more fake, or somthin' like that." Very eloquent, which means I got ripped off again.

Four hours already on the 34th floor of that fakeness. With a napkin under the glass. Another half hour, then another. "He knows we'll wait." Next to the glass, the photos that I found in the lobby. Sorta round tank with grass in the bottom? What is this. The sun's long been down, waiters gave up and no longer bug me. That unreal sky is no longer there.

37 degrees centigrade.

That's what the meter reads. Air conditioning inside, but the external temperature never recedes, as always. 37 degrees. Like being inside the human body. Which reminds me of the view from here, with its own network of veins. The thought of all those lights in that vein having their own lives, feelings, ideas and dreams makes me puke. What about me, I think. What about my body, with all the internal organisms, parasites, HIV. How do they live? What do they feel, think, dream? And yet, they will never understand their true role as a part of me. They convey something for me as a media, and yet, they would never know my feelings. Just drifting away.

Me, people, we're all just media. Drifting is all we could afford. We too will never know our true functions in this city. That's what I think.

Would he be somewhere in them veins. He's also a medium, but I know what he carries. I buy the stuff. Or is that also irrelevant to this city. What he, I, really carry, may be something totally different.

Another thirty minutes. I see them photos again. This one is a ramp? And this is an apartment complex? What is this. I'm still waiting. Still 37 degrees.

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YAMAGATA Hiroo (hiyori13@mailhost.net)