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The Lost World [Feb. 14th, 2015|11:59 pm]
Every time Google updates satellite and street views of places I remember they have undergone more changes. Bit by bit the buildings change, the signs change, the trees change, and it's like I'm visiting some foreign place that is nonetheless full of ghosts from my past. Tonight I saw a cluster of big, tightly packed houses going up at the top of the hillside on which I used to sit and contemplate my world on quiet afternoons. Down the block only the foundations and slabs remain of the house my best friend lived in when I was ten years old.

In the other direction modest, rustic cottages and vacant lots have been replaced by a row of enormous modern houses. The eucalyptus trees that once shade the spot I liked so much have vanished. The two lane roads with dirt verges have been widened and have sprouted sidewalks. Even the ground has been reshaped— stream courses have been buried, hills terraced, and streets and houses have somehow been built on unbuildable sites.

Here and there is a familiar roofline, a row of trees that have survived, or a patch of ground that remains vacant and unchanged, but these grow fewer each time the images are updated. It seems almost as though I've outlived my memories, and the world has all but forgotten me. Sometimes it seems almost as though I'd imagined my whole life, or dreamed it, and will wake up in some alien place that is my real home. If that were to happen I don't think I'd want to stay there. I think I'd want to go back to sleep.

I should probably stop looking at Google's views, but I can't. I must look into the abyss.