The Dead

After some introductions, cigarettes—enough time for their eyes to almost get used to the darkness—the dead began to speak of the universe. What was it like for you? asked one. One of them quickly and nervously spoke of the great night of stars, multicolored planets, symphonies, paintings, cafes and X-rays, radios and compact mirrors, indigo streets of echoing footsteps, and flashing amber traffic lights. With their newly acquired level of consciousness, the others could picture these things, even though they were imagining or seeing them for the first time. One of the other dead described an infinity of bottle washers, tinfoil trees, circumambulations of helium, the descent of notes blown from an infinite woodwind, the motion of whirlpools and infrared eclipses. Another spoke of what sounded like an endless rainfall of raindrops, plum blossoms, gravel, umbrellas, and fireworks. Others could only recite numbers, and others strange patterns of tactile sensations, emotions or scents. One of the dead began to worry. Would this dialogue complete a picture puzzle, or just generate more puzzle pieces? It would be difficult to predict whether or not this would get monotonous, as there was no space or time for monotony. It was best to pay attention for now.

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