The immodest afterlife of Miss Calder

Clothes are much more reliable than the idea of clothes.

What is presence? Memory and the idea of self. Who we think we are, or were, or should be.

When a person is calm, it is easy to remember what was considered proper. The correct fall of drapery. What to hide, and what to cover and what to walk through this world pretending does not exist.

When you do not have a body it is oddly difficult to remember what of a body you were supposed to have, and what of a body is not meant to be seen.

Having feelings makes it all so much harder. Feelings without a body make so much less sense, because feelings belong to the body that no longer exists. With feelings, it is harder to concentrate and so I do not always remember what of my body should make itself known. More often bone than breast, but it is all equally indecent in its own way. It is easy to reveal too much and the afterlife lacks for privacy.

Feelings and thoughts – these are the most real things. I clothe them accidentally with memory, with my resting bones and half recalled face, with the idea of clothes and a lingering desire to uphold the kinds of standards the living would appreciate.

Does my skull trouble you more or less than my nipple? I cannot ask, it would be one immodesty too far. One indecency too many. I know this. I just cannot, for the life of me remember why it was so important. Why one shred of memory is more indecent than another.

These are just ideas about who I used to be, but the living are fragile and a human body is such an ephemeral thing.

 

Art by Dr Abbey.

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