Nearly two years ago, I finished migrating ten thousand songs’ worth of CDs into bits; but the racks-full of disks have continued to occupy living-room space. So we bought some sleeves and storage boxes at Staples and have started the process, on an occasional evening, of packing them away.
When might they be unpacked?
By my children after I’m demented, muttering “Why on earth did Dad keep this around?!”
By a music aficionado late in the twenty-second century, hands shaking with glee; exclaiming “Arvo Pärt!”, “Boney M!”, and “Edgar Winter!”
By a low-paid legal-firm functionary, working to value my estate because litigation has broken out...
...or because nobody’s left to notice my departure and there’s a public trustee trying to recover value.
By a neo-Goth obsessive who keeps only the Cale, Cave, and Cure tracks. That’s John Cale.
By a collector with unimpeachable musical tastes, who finds nothing of interest.
By someone, a few decades later, working with the lights of a hand-wired hand-programmed obsolete-digital-carrier-data-extractor blinking softly at the back of the table.
By the wrinkled hands of a kindly-faced but sort of burnt-out volunteer at a junk shop in a bad part of town run by a religious charity, selling things for dimes to provide much-needed hot meals for junkies welcoming a warm seat out of February’s lashing horizontal rain.
By a recycling-center worker in a stained grey coverall, separating the hard plastic disks from the soft plastic sleeves and sorting them into battered metal bins.
By an intelligent non-human starfarer, picking through remains on a planet despoiled of natural resources but thickly populated with the ruins of strip malls.
Never. That’s most likely, really. I could offer a dozen stories with that ending but they’d be almost all sad.