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OBSTRUCTIONS TO CROSSING THE STREET

There is seemingly no end to the obstructions you can encounter in the crossing of a single street; the number of flagstones that must be spanned, the kerbside, the mortar which holds this strange adherence on the firm base of sand upon which the entire edifice rests. How many hours of labour went into the construction of this single street? Men toiling either in silence or with grunts and clicks over the initial laying-down of the cobbles onto a path, worn gradually away by horses and people a thousand years ago. The endless repairs needed, the re-laying of stone upon broken stone, building the flat surface up into a sort of elevated passage leading you and I into the centre of the city, the centre of the world, if only we could ever get there.

The continual process of decay which gives this road its quality is ruthless in its persistence, as though the solid surface is falling away into oblivion under your very feet; you even wonder how the world ever managed to cohere at all, what with such merciless exhaustion between surface and surface, the corrosion of every plane and vector. And then of course there is the time it takes to move your legs over and over, briefly overcoming each time the insistent gravity which holds you to the street; I mean, the absurd locomotion called walking. Each step is a requirement of the one that follows, the current step was impossible without all those which preceded it, and the whole thing may be broken down into a million parcels of detail; it would take more than a lifetime to document them all, and those million parcels themselves subdivide into a million more like microorganisms colonising the globule of fluid inside a petri-dish. To resign yourself to the thought that it simply is not feasible to walk down this street, not even if you were to have a million million lifetimes, is the first dim sign of the increasing entropy in this particular system – on the declining tangent of a bell-shaped curve which has exhausted all its useful energy. It is that point after which nothing can ever again be permitted to happen.

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