Cemetery prompt 1-18-22

In a world overtaken by consistently concordant concrete and miles of meaningless metal, skylines that scramble to eat up the horizon until all that’s left is city, it was easy for humanity to forget how to speak. After all, there’s nothing more to say; every thought has been bought and stretched until thin and riddled with holes, each piece devoured by hungry hands that knew nothing more than scraps and survival.

That was how things were supposed to end, we think. The city that has taken all the air and delved deep into the core of our planet, sprawling and endless, is all that we have really known at this point. Wordless. Some of us still read, but finding language besides morse code and electricity is a feat in itself. Things were supposed to end this way, but here we are still, surviving and dying and living between the cracks of our own handmade downfalls.

Are we still human? Theseus’ ships, all of us- held up by wires and software and hardware that fixes problems we no longer remember the taste of. Blood. Pain. Love. The lines that we used to define what we are were always blurry, but having since destroyed them further we’ve just changed the meaning of the words. It’s not like there are enough people around to truly be upset.

Something I’ve always found odd, delightfully unchanged, is death. In all our attempts to prolong it and eradicate it, humans, machines, code, radiation and disease, all still dies. Those of us with flesh usually get buried, too- a practice so ancient and source-less that is more or less unquestioned, in a place where every question has been asked until the idea itself also needs to be buried.

These places are still regarded as cemeteries, though you wouldn’t recognize it much like the rest of what we’ve become. Machines do not acknowledge their existence, it is purposeless, much like the flesh that rots there, much like the flesh that walks above it. And do we walk- hundreds of us gather to mourn the loss of what we never knew. Some of us even say words.

I think we knew what they meant at one point. Instinct, words are- not learned like what you believe. Still, the meaning is dead, as are we before we stop breathing. It was always supposed to end like this, but it never got around to ending. Cemeteries everywhere house the remains of humanity, as if they could ever remember a word or thought like unity. We couldn’t remember, we always forgot, and the city told us it would remember for us, but one day the city will die too.

I don’t think it can bury itself. But hopefully the Earth will float away, no longer enveloped in greed, peacefully dead, and it’ll all end then. Making cemeteries out of all of us.