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A few weeks ago your Mortician put out a call to some associates, asking them to imagine what they would do with a small portion of my cremated ashes to them in the mail after my death.

Here is my original letter, shot through the intertubes:

Members of the Order,

Say that I am dead.

Consumption has ravaged my young body and after falling into fits I have at last expired.  Or perhaps I have spent the holiday climbing Mt.Kilimanjaro and- despite the best efforts of my loyal Swahili porter- have fallen to my untimely demise.

A week or two from now you would receive in the mail (or in person, as you were kind enough to come witness my cremation) your share of my ashes, approximately 6 ounces, or 3/4 or a cup.  They would arrive in a darling little etched glass vile, selected by me prior to my death.

All that remains...

Your only instruction is that this bottle of Me-ash now belongs entirely to you, to do WHATEVER you wish with.  My question to you is: what is it you would do with it?

Do not be afraid to be honest (i.e. “I would be totally creeped out and put them in the back of my closet”) or beyond ridiculous (i.e. “I would snort half of them like cocaine so you’d always be a part of me and then the other half I’d scatter in the New York Sewage System while singing the negro spiritual “Wade in the Water”).

I appreciate your help with this question as I appreciate you, lights of my life. Caitlin


The following response came from Dr. Eric Chan.  I can only assume that his extensive high level medical training gave him the knowledge base to imagine such grotesque phantasmagoric visions as are presented below…


My initial thought:  As if you would ever be friends with someone who would “be totally creeped out” by your ashes.

Now, to answer your question…

First and foremost, I would weep.  I would weep for my memories of you and I.  I would weep for the lost opportunities: the unsung songs, the undrunk wine, the unkilled vagrants, the unsacrificed virgins.

Then I would tearfully retire to my room, having lost my will to live in a world without my Dark Queen, I would tear through every drawer looking for the correct combination of pills to extinguish my own life so that I may find you in the abyss.  While counting the various expired ambiens and benadryls, my eyes would rest upon the small jar of your skin and hair I had collected over the years, hidden amongst the clutter of my nightstand.  I would take the jar to my laboratory…

As you know, the art of human cloning is imperfect, even when performed under the most stringent of conditions.  Drunk with sorrow, I would of course make some crucial mistakes in my frenzied attempt to “resurrect” my precious lost Caitlin.  The resulting “product” (for I would hesitate to call it human) would be a wailing mass of eerily translucent flesh and misshapen limbs with incorrectly numbered, gnarled digits.

But this creature, the reborn Caitlin (whom I would call “CD2.0”),  would grow quickly despite her fractured limbs and tissue paper thin skin.  Her teeth would be razor sharp, able to puncture thick garments made of leather.  Her behavior would be violent and erratic.  She would be tied to the rusty radiator in my basement, however the clicks and whistling of the steam through the rotting pipes would work her into a self mutilating hysteria, requiring her to wear this mask for most of the winter:

Every night I would come to visit CD2.0 and feed her scraps of raw meat.  She would develop an unnerving taste for the entrails of infant animals, and so on special occasions (such as your birthday, and “reborn day”) I would lay out a large tarp and bring her a live suckling pig.  The resulting squeals could be heard for miles, had I not meticulously soundproofed the room.  I would, of course, watch silently as CD2.0 fed.

One night I would startle awake to the sound of crashing furniture in the living room.  Grabbing my P00 Parabellum pistol from beneath my pillow I would creep slowly down the stairs.  CD2.0 had escaped by breaking through a weak bar on the radiator.  She would lunge at me savagely and with one shot between the eyes, I would dispatch her.

There would be no memorial service, as no one would know of her existence.  She would be cremated in my fireplace.  Her ashes equalling 1/4th of a cup.  I would add it to the portion given to me after your death so many years prior.  Ahhhh, 1 whole cup.  That’s the portion I wanted.  That’s what I deserved…..



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