Do Not Resuscitate
My cousin would never have wanted any of this. He would’ve rather had his flesh stripped by hungry dogs, and his bones ground down into chalk.
I was waiting at the bus stop to go to the graveyard. I had to get my cousin's remains so I could put them in the crawlspace under my floor. The man next to me at the bus stop had his mouth on a black plastic flip-phone and he was getting drool all over it, wet and sloppy. “Frankly, if you call them ‘moderate’ rebels,” he was saying, “that just makes me want to send weapons to them even less. I’d like to at least believe they're using my arms for something a bit ambitious.” His free hand was fingering a pair of sunglasses like a rosary.
The bus arrived to take us to the graveyard. I paid my fare with the old coins that I keep in a pill bottle at the bottom of my sock drawer. To rub it in my face, there was no one else on the bus. I sat down at the back anyway. The LED display that was supposed to tell me when my stop was coming wasn't working. It just flashed off and on, full red and then nothing, nothing and then full red, like a blinking demon eye.
The graveyard was being decommissioned tomorrow. That was the main thing. According to my mother, all the bodies that hadn't been claimed by then were going to be pulped up and turned into glue. I didn't think that was true, but I agreed to go and get my cousin anyway, for my own reasons. In any case, it was what everyone wanted. The family hadn't liked that I stuck around this place after my cousin died, after anyone else left for happier places, but they couldn't complain now. I was useful, for once. I was a credit to the family name, for once. The bus rumbled hot and electric under my feet.
The man with the flip-phone had gotten on with me. He kept talking the whole way, spitting acronyms and large numbers through the air. I tried to tune him out.