An extract from WELCOME TO HELL WORLD in Longreads

We build on top of ourselves burying the past I thought. We live on top of the dead I thought while staring down into the ruins there snapping photos of the ancient culture’s bones on my phone so I could remember them some day in the future. Eventually you accumulate too many memories on your phone so you have to decide which ones to delete. You have to go through and be like do I absolutely need to remember this hamburger?

The past is very easy for me to imagine because it has already happened. Either I was there for it or someone else was there for it and they wrote it down and so now we know. The present is also easy to imagine because well I don’t think I need to explain that one. I have never been very good about thinking about the future though and I don’t think any of us are. We make plans sure and if you were to ask us what we might be doing a year from now or five years from now or twenty years from now we could probably spackle together a plausible approximation of what it might look like but the future isn’t real because no one has written it down for us yet.

I saw a story where scientists said the pitch at which whales near the Antarctic sing has been getting progressively lower over the past couple decades. Blue whales sometimes sing at a pitch so low that it’s beyond the grasp of human ears which sounds magical doesn’t it that there are massive creatures communicating in a manner that we would never be able to hear if we didn’t amplify it with technology. Maybe they just don’t want us eavesdropping. Maybe they’re talking about us behind our backs.

Read the full extract here.

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