At the truckstop restaurant, the air-conditioner works and the chicken is decent. While eating, I read a review of Walter Benjamin's recently translated Arcades Project—

Who was Walter Benjamin? For highbrow city lovers, he was the Man of the 20th Century. His essays on Berlin and Paris have long been required reading in art and architecture schools around the world. They are among the seminal texts in the field of cultural studies and the ethnographic approach it has fostered toward art.

Family conversations flow and ebb around me to a backdrop of Country music. Outside, the desert suddenly darkens. In the anonymous motel room, Cable TV offers a seamless flow of talking heads. Lastly, a noisy neighbor arrives just after I've fallen asleep.


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