Time Capsule, by Rory Meagher

Hello.

We buried this on September 15th 2010. If you found this, congratulations – you’re a fantastic digger. And you’ve stumbled upon the story of another time. We don’t know what time it is now that you’re reading this. We don’t know what year it is or what our planet Earth looks like. We don’t know if you can understand our language, but we hope you will.

Because… it is important that you remember us. Someone once said, to forget the dead would be like killing them a second time. I cannot at the moment recall who said that.

There are many things we need to tell you about us. So many things. We did so much. We need to tell you all of it, or as much of it as you can bear. You need to understand that we lived. We lived. And we had passions. We had morals. We had love. We had feelings, emotions, desires, questions, so many questions, never enough answers. We had animals. And sometimes we were animals. But we didn’t mean to be. We had principles. We had tall buildings. We had uniform, code, law, and order. We called ourselves humans, a hybrid of animals, a smarter, more advanced and civilized creature. We stood for higher ideas, greater things. We were martyrs and heroes, presidents and prophets, saints and geniuses. We explored and discovered and calculated. We thought and learned and discerned. We had beliefs, faith. Many men died for these things. There were many wars, but always in search of peace.

I’m telling you this. I’m writing this all down. It’s me. Not just because I can afford the time to document the history of humanity, or because, like you, I am a fantastic digger, but because I deserve to be remembered. Me, Earl Raymus. I deserve to be remembered just as much as Jimi Hendrix or Uma Thurman. (I’ll tell you about them later.) We all deserve to be remembered because, well, what else are we but memories? We define our lives by these memories, we learn from the bad ones, and try to make more of the good ones, and then one day we die, and we’re nothing but this suitcase of memories, our life was just a scrapbook of pictures, and someone has got to hold on to them. (You’ll notice that I left a scrapbook of my photographs in the time capsule, many of them captioned with interesting stories.) So we live these long lives, but they don’t feel long somehow. Somehow it just feels like a snap of the finger and a week’s up, then a year, then a decade, and it’s like holy shit, I’m getting old, how is this happening? When you’re there, just living, in that moment, just breathing, you can feel it, and it doesn’t feel fast, it feels slow, often boringly slow, like what the fuck is taking so long? But it truly flies by, like Ferris Beuller says, ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’ (I put a copy of “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off” in the capsule. It’s one of the finest pieces of human art.) Look, I may not be the right guy for this. But is there a right guy? Were any of us humans better than the next? Maybe. Maybe I was. I am. Maybe that’s why I’m writing this. Because I can be the voice of all eternity. That’s what my book critics would be saying if the publishing industry wasn’t populated by so many cowards. You’ll notice that I’m being very honest. I could lie to you and say that I’m a rich and successful novelist (I do consider myself successful, just not by the current world’s standards), but I’m being honest with you. I want to gain your trust. And it’s not that I’m a bad writer, or pathetic or something – I’m just misunderstood. Maybe you can understand me. I hope.

You’ve now finished the introduction on humanity by the one and only Earl Raymus. Please move on to the red folder for the next section, which will be primarily about the history of mankind. I know, that sounds dense, right? But I’ll try to be brief and fun, yet unyieldingly specific and at times brilliant. Maybe we can forge some sort of friendship over the years, across this great expanse of time between us, just from the words I’m putting down on these pages, and from your eyes and mind (well technically I don’t know how your body works if you’re an alien), but maybe, just maybe, you’ll see something in these words, you’ll see the spirit of my voice, or perhaps the spirit of humanity, leaping right out at you like an exclamation point!

Rory Meagher is alive and well.

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