In reality, what I’d like to happen with my body, once I’m dead, is that it gets cremated and the ashes get mixed into ceramic tiles that are used to construct a space probe. That way I can spend my next phase of existence exploring space, rather than fertilizing crab grass.
But that’s not the Anthropologist Fantasy.
The Anthropologist Fantasy entails my being frozen into a glacier, likely after falling into a crevasse, and then centuries or even millennia later, being unfrozen by scientists excited to learn what humanity was like during the Petroleum Age.
Despite their pet theories that homo sapiens had lapsed into lethargic obesity as a result of driving “cars” everywhere and living their entire mental lives staring at glowing rectangles, here is a sinewy man, modestly hirsute, who appears to have been some sort of hunter. It’s likely that the bloated members of his tribe sent him out into the world to kill the remaining mammals to be “microwaved” so that the high priests of the “Internet” might have more time to type arcane codes into their think boxes.
Also in this scenario, the anthropologists do their best to parse the meaning of my tattoos and conclude that I had been branded as the property of a higher-order being OR was just dumb. Perhaps both are true.
As long as this fantasy has already left the realm of the likely, I’ll hope that somehow I am carrying thumb drives that contain every word I’ve ever written, and that the future’s brightest minds spend the time to convert and collate my screeds to get some idea of the zeitgeist at the turn of the second millennium. What a howling disappoint that will be?!
Sometimes, when I’m out on a long run, I think about all of this and I laugh.
This fantasy presupposes that I have been a person worth knowing about. It assumes that humans will still inhabit the Earth. It is very specific about the bits of me that survive, frozen there just a few meters from reaching the dog I must have been hunting, but was more likely running behind, always behind, in search of an absurd truth that humanity will never discover, no matter how many anthropologists look at my artifacts. The shoes the tattoos, and the shit eating grin.