In my home country there is not enough space to bury everyone. What is done in cemeteries is usually: either the defunct is buried for a limited amount of years (from 5 to 10) and afterwards the bones are moved to a shelf like structure for bones, or the defunct along with the coffin is directly put into a big drawer which stacks several of these drawers and remain there, undisturbed. A posh outdoors granite morgue, if you want.
Recently visited someone in one of these large drawers. In this corridor, there are about 250 of these slots. The door of the drawer is made of granite. Around 1.5 centimeters thick granite. There are 3 dark holes of around 4 centimeters diameter, which theoretically allow you to peep into the drawer. Inside lives a sealed coffin and inside that coffin, the remains of a human being.
For a few years, every now and then we buy some new flowers, clean the drawer’s door, look at the growing population of defunct people filling these drawers. We all know what is there, but I rarely think about what is really beyond those three black holes.
The realist part of me tells me, in a very blunt tone that there’s a mummified corpse beyond the door, the smell is probably nauseating, at best, and the environment bacteria ridden. But that’s not interesting. The interesting part is the 1.5 centimeters of granite with three holes can, in a way, erase the existence of whatever is beyond that closed door.
Like when we both close our doors after a long discussion, you ceased to exist as a person and only the contents of the conversation stay with me. To personify you, I have to consciously think about you closing your door, leaning your body against it, perhaps thinking about what I said or looking at your phone.
Mostly I go through life without thinking about what is behind closed doors. Thinking about it fucks with my brain. Rejecting solipsism seems obvious – but to hold the premise that other people are also complex conscious beings is not something which comes natural to me. When I start thinking about other people as real people, I start finding interactions less strange, to understand certain actions which can be lazily interpreted as pure evil or douchery.