Attic Funerary Vases of Greece

The tiny silver disks on the ledges are coins tossed by wishers. Like an obolus placed in the mouth of the dead we pay a price for the passage of dreams. A bridge now spans the Styx where once the ferryman was king. And lo, there are the towers of our mighty hands, the alchemy of dust and steel, the testaments of thumbs. Builders and bridgers, efficiency evolves for the sake of tolls, paid not in tribute to Charon, for there is no longer a boundary between the living and the dead. The delusion of stature, size, safety – shattered in seconds. Yet still persists.

Gaze out three windows. A triptych painted in light. This is San Francisco, the city that ever sleeps. Devoured by fire, razed by tremors, named for saints, built upon corpses for precious metals once, but now, sequences of zeros and ones. Proxies for proxies of proxies. Throw a coin, make a wish. That is as far as we’ve come.

All is illusion. Pillars of compacted dust. Cylindrical symbols of power that shine in the glare of the sun. Sand castles. Garments of sackcloth and ashes. A life wrapped in paper, coded in numbers. A numeric value. A quantity, an amount, decimal places to the left of a dot. Dot left and dot right. Dot left is pleasure and living. Dot right is suffering and death. Meaning, coded by lines, curves, alphabets. Worth. Love. Good. All reduced to great notions born of strong-willed, frail-minded scavengers who know no god but the self.

How many decimal places do you possess? Get busy grasshopper. Winter is coming. Now is the hour of accumulation. Now is the time of the hoarders. Now is the time of the agreement. We made this. We give it breath.

o O o

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