You must simply treat it as if I had moved away, or was kidnapped, or otherwise dropped off the radar. Pretend I live in Australia now. Pretend, if you like, we had a falling out and do not speak. Any of these things are fine with me, if they dissolve the bonds of expectation. I can see no difference in my absence should I do any of those things and if I died. Why is dying sorrow, and the others simply life? Why can you not leave me alone to go away? I don't believe in anything, in any thing beyond this sharp pressure of nowhere to go and nothing to be done. If we never write, and never speak, and never see each other, what does it matter whether I am dead? You can still pretend that we might go to coffee, you can still expect a letter. These things will not change. What intrinsic thing am I missing that I can sense no difference in absence from a death? I would be free then, free to go. What would you do differently if I were merely gone for a very long walk than gone completely from the earth? When you want something and never, ever get it, how is that different from that thing being dead? All the wanting in the world will not wake me up tomorrow in your arms. Nor after, the day after - yes things change, unless they don't. Some things do not. They do not change. If I am here you think you have volition, you could lift the receiver, you could take up the pen. You do not, can not, will not - how is that different? I know things, sometimes; somehow, whether I will or no. What people do, or don't do. You are no different. You will find a wife, and have a child, and we will never speak again. The space, literal and real, will grow between us. Our cities will diverge. We will not share the yoke again. Not because it is written, and not because it is not, but because that is how life falls out. Your orbit moves away from mine. Whether this world is live or dead, how can it matter? Simply pretend the dead channel speaks. Simply pretend tomorrow will bring difference. You can not experience my death; it is a thought within you only. It is a silence, from which you imagine meaning. Choose another. Choose another meaning, set me free from expectation of response. You think you would know if I were struck down, but you would not. You think we are connected; we are not. Ignore the sure and certain knowledge of my death, and how would that be different from my silence? I am beyond your senses, when I am not present. Encase me in amber; see me as you wish to see me, but do not task me with the replication. Live more in your own world. Tell yourself a different story. I am fine. You will see me tomorrow. Get religion, and forget that I have none; chain me to your heaven if you must. Realize your knowledge ends at the walls of my beginnings. Take a page of solipsism and build your world with me in it, only silent. Treat me like the trees, the furniture, the portions of your world which lie waiting 'til you need them. Give me full status as a prop, without the expectation of my life. It will not change our interactions, for you only ever see me as you see me, never as I am. For one, you can not see what isn't there, and I have ever been the sand within the pearl within the oyster, underneath the sea. I am a postulate. I am an assumption. After all you looked at me and turned away, and told yourself you knew me. Just maintain the telling. Tell yourself of course I'm fine. Tell yourself there's nothing wrong. Tell yourself nothing has changed, because it hasn't. Nothing has changed. I have not gone away. How could I go away? Who is so foolish as to dream escape? That is a story for one's early days, escape. We know things go on, we do. Take comfort in the sameness. This is not real, it's only speculation. How could I save myself with words? Where would I go? There is no exit, how can I have taken it? I will call tomorrow. Tomorrow.