Anomalocaris

Anomalocaris

UNE Photos (CC / Flickr)

Let me introduce you to Carrie. She doesn’t speak much but she tells a hell of a story. Who else do you know who can spin yarns half a billion years old? Sometimes I sit here and listen to her for hours. I’ve spent many a night in this chair, drinking in everything she tells me.

I told you, I don’t mean it literally. I’m not hallucinating. I know she’s an imprint left when a landslide fell on her. That’s what a fossil is. There she was, snuffling around under the ocean, doing whatever her kind did back then. There’s more to her story than she could have known herself.

What is she?

She’s a sage of the ages. A tale-teller of Æons.

What we call Anomalocaris. Carrie for short. Get it? Perhaps she had her own name for herself but I doubt it. Her nervous system was pretty basic. It was only in death that she found immortality.

Please, don’t try to tell me she’s just stone. She’s more than flesh and blood can ever be. Or chitin and haemocoel in her case. She’s so much more than the stone she’s stuck in. I told you what she says to me.

Don’t be ridiculous. There’s plenty in my life. Just nothing else that speaks across geological time…

I had a shower two days ago, on Monday.

It’s Thursday today?

Three days ago then.

Of course I went home. Where else would I have a shower?

OK, not since then. I’ve been busy. Engrossed. Fascinated. By Carrie.

Don’t lecture me about life, whatever you think that means.

Carrie’s been dead for half a billion years and she’s got more to say about life than, than ephemera like you and me.

I’m not being portentous, it’s what I think.

I’m not hiding from anything. Really I’m not. Why would you think that?

I just happen to like Carrie. It’s that simple. She’s…undemanding. Reliable. She’s aged and decayed as much as she ever will. She couldn’t leave me if she wanted to.

What’s that got to do with Carrie?

Well, no.

No, actually.

No, I haven’t slept in the house since the funeral.

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