A collection of stories that describe what it feels to be human.

Please share your story by sharing with me at will@depue.net.

Keyboard - A human named Will.

When I was 10 years old, both of my closest family friends moved away. I had known them since we were born. It felt like my life was ending. I had never known closer friends. They were like my brothers.

When they moved they gifted us their piano keyboard. This keyboard let you record yourself playing and play it back to you, but it only could store two songs at a time. I remember discovering that they had left two last recordings of them practicing. Me and my brothers got together and agreed that we wouldn't touch those buttons. This was the last thing we had to remember them by.

I don't know whether it was me or them, but at some point, either through forgetfulness or surrender, we clicked those buttons to record over our own play. One by one, we lost the last memories of their existence.

I remember clicking the buttons one day and discovering their songs had been replaced. I didn't feel angry. I didn't feel loss. I, for the first time, identified with a deep melancholy, an acceptance, with a sigh, of the inevitability of their erasure. This was part of life.


Poems by ChatGPT

A keyboard sat in my room,
A gift from friends who left too soon.
Memories stored within its keys,
Of laughter, love and melodies.

But as time passed, we pressed record,
And the past was locked behind a door.
No anger, no regret, just a sigh,
For the fleeting nature of life, we die.


Piano keyboard sounds
Echoes of friends now gone
Melancholy sighs

Sabi - A human named Kai.

When you are about to leave someplace, there is a particular feeling you get. The Japanese have an untranslatable word for it—sabi— described once to me by an ikebana artist as the bittersweet beauty of a withering flower or of watching the sun set.

It feels like a nostalgia for the present moment, a sudden appreciation for the place you’re about to leave behind. And as you leave, as if re-watching a film, the details you hadn’t noticed begin to spill out of their hiding spots.

They beg you to stay, to linger in the light falling through the window, the scent of dust, the sound of the air that, like you, is only passing through. Simple evidence of its existence, as temporary as your experience of it. Like you, it was there earlier; unlike you, it will be there later.

The act of leaving reminds you what exactly you’re leaving behind. A version of yourself, perhaps, or opportunities you’ll never grasp. The people you love who will inevitably grow older, some of whom you may never see again. It asks what you didn’t do, what you could’ve done, what you missed.

You noticed the details when you arrived, as you do any new place, but whatever routine you fell into, if only for a couple days or hours, distracted you from it until now, when it is time to leave. And at once, you realize what exactly you are leaving behind. Like watching the sun set, you only pay attention to it when it fades away.

When you leave, the place becomes an idea, just as it was before you arrived. And people never weep or obsess or delight about places like they do about ideas. You savor it, for it is scarce. You cannot taste a memory.