The Remains

I found this self-help text stored on a mini SD card, the memory I removed from a dead smartphone. Its screen bore a thin spiderweb of cracks spreading from a central point, as if it had been hit with an emergency hammer, one you might find on a bus in a small red box. Once hidden in the bottom drawer of waste phones at my local dump, it is now listed here due to elements of internal interest, but in the end perhaps it should have been left to transfer to a landfill site and decay, six feet down, among the plastic bags, the compact discs, and trays of silver-plated cutlery – and this remains its fate, even here. But that’s okay!

[…] – a grave marker indicates corrupted text.

The Manuscript

[…] to cope with the private nocturnal terrors I began to revel in them, to smile. To clasp my hands as if in prayer, in a simulation of an older time. I mean, it gave me something to do, which helped. And many years afterwards I began to design graves, in another way of coping with certain facts of living. But then, what counts as coping?

That we are not here on a certain future date, does not mean we have no stake in what goes on with the remains. Of course there are many views on the function of grief and mourning and their socially emergent ceremonies. This isn’t the place for that. And don’t talk to me about grandiosity – that we are here at all is grandiose enough.

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