They sure liven things up, those visitors. We don’t see much people around nowadays. The farms only employ robots, and most of the youth moved to the coast, where the connection speeds are way faster.
Those who have stayed work and live in the webs. They rarely leave their houses. Their bodies are here, but they, they aren’t quite here, do you see what I mean?
This doesn’t help the business with the petrol station. To be frank, it hasn’t made a profit since ’17 at least. I stay afloat selling old stuff in the webs, and also with the craft beer business.
Why do I keep the petrol station open then? Hmm, I dunno, I suppose it keeps me grounded, doing work here in this side of the frontier. I’m no Luddite, mind, but I don’t quite want to move over to the webs like those people in their houses, plugged in, with their faces blue, that’s the way Mabel went, further down the pipes, and one day, one day she just wasn’t there. I miss Mabel.
It is odd, or maybe I’m odd. There sure are more of them in that side, than there are of me over here!
But I’m rambling again, sorry. You were interested in the visitors, what’s with the visitors? I don’t know what’s with the visitors. I’m not even sure who is a visitor and who isn’t.
Let’s see, who drives through this road? We have the automated transports, those sure aren’t visitors – they bring petrol and the shopping, and take parcels with old stuff I flog in the webs, and the crates of craft beer for the people in the city and further ways. We sometimes have agribusiness engineers coming through to fix whatever hardware can’t be taken care of by the drones, even the odd tourist who hasn’t been completely scared away by folk-tales about mutant bumblebees and tribes of headhunting hillbillies. And finally, researchers like you, curious about us folks who cannot let go of the old world.
The rest, I think, are visitors.
The first one came through six months ago or so, a creaking monstrosity looming over my little petrol station, swaying from one way to the other, with a fiery looking man perched atop it, dressed in a fancy white outfit. For a moment, I feared some of those headhunting hillbillies stories may not be such horseshit after all, and put the security drone on standby, but this thing didn’t even register in the sensors!! Anyway, it ignored me. It just went past, down there and around the curve and that was that. I described it to the we, and it said that, with high probability, what had passed in front of my eyes was a steamer ship!
Many more have come since then. Some are old-looking like the steamer, others look like vehicles from a science-fiction film, some resemble the bio-engineered freaks and chimeras they show on TV, but much more graceful in how they move. Dragons parading in front of my petrol station, go figure!
I can’t imagine where they come from, and for the love of me I can’t fathom where they are headed. They are all different, but they are the same in that they are something else, there is a strangeness about them, an intensity, as if they were so intent on whatever they are doing that they got lost, and they ended up here. Perhaps this is because here we are as far away from everywhere else as you can get – a midpoint in all odysseys where the traveller forgets his origin as well as his destination, to soar above the path.
I can sure get poetic speculating about these Visitors, that is something else I owe them. But my words can’t make them justice, better see for yourself. Can you hear that, down the road? I think there is one coming right now, you are very lucky missus, here is a visitor, it should appear down the road any minute now, here it comes, hello, here it comes.
(Image above by Ben Jones via 50 Watts.)
If Cloudface is going anywhere, it is to a party. The vehicle is a maglev gondola whose streamlined elegance reminds us of Moebius’ visions, and the synth-spliced organicism of Chicago’s famed cadre. Its fuel is not the misspent sweat of a zillion wastrels, but the sympathy & energy flash generated by the beat that takes all the dancers to the dance-floor (now that’s a collective journey).
The Devonian Garden EP for which this is the title track contains many other melancholy dance gems whose rough edges aren’t mistakes, but quanta of surprise encoding messages connecting human dancers with human makers.
It’s a bouncy, pensive delight.
Cloudface – Devonian Garden
Devonian Gardens is coming out soon in Mood Hut.
Sometimes we think that driving & heartbreak & grim resolution & fire devils, zen introspection & bloodshot sunsets were all invented to provide a visual context for FWY’s motorik ballads.
Every track in ‘Any Exit’ is the segment of a route through ochre countries with hills populated by totems representing basic emotions connected to dynamism & acceleration. This sense of movement is shared throughout, with subtle shifts in mood. In 710 Again’s optimistic percussion, bass’ diesel growl & delicate but determined piano we find hope, the last boost before arriving to our destination, which may even be home, if only tonight.
FWY – 710 Again
The ‘Any Exit’ cassette can be acquired from Moon Glyph.