Author: Steve Smith, Staff Writer

I’d never dreamed before, at least not that I could remember.

Sure, a lifetime in that chair, I’d hoped for things, but that’s different. Sleep was always empty, vacant. Dreamless.

Ever since I’ve become a retread, the visions have been relentless. This reclaimed meatsuit must have been saturated in deeply emotional experiences, and when they bleached it, some of them didn’t wash out.

Most of these meatsuits come from habitual offenders; death row inmates, the irredeemable dregs of society. Their family gets a payout, they get off the hook early, and people like me born with a body broken in all the wrong places get another chance.


I don’t know where this meatsuit came from, and the plastics work had all been done before I moved in, so I can’t even track down the history by likeness, but there’s something about these fragments that I see when I close my eyes that are undeniable, unavoidable, unnerving.

Standing here, now, at this intersection, I can understand why.

The wreaths are still wired to the guardrail, and the crosses, while leaning, remain stuck in the dirt.

Despite all efforts to wash it away – wind, rain, time – the evidence remains. Undeniable. Unavoidable.

If I close my eyes, the road, the railing, her eyes. It’s all so clear to me now.

I understand how someone could want not to relive these memories, be prepared to not inhabit this body anymore to be free of them.

I don’t blame them.

In time, I’m not sure I’ll be able to stay in here with them either.