Visions Adrift [Ephemeral Memories]

After careful thought, I decided to remove only valuable
articles and make the minimal repairs required to prevent
future structure failure. It was highly irregular from a
building-conservation view but I believed that protecting
life was just as important as preserving the past.

But a few months later, machine lifeforms moved in and
turned the place into a factory. I hope all the little guys
who lived there managed to get out.

"City Environmental Conservation Record 12S496"

Time Adrift [Ephemeral Memories]

Our task is to repair and conserve long-neglected buildings.
I usually don't mind getting up-close and personal with
abandoned relics from people of the past. But this time,
the building we're working with already has new occupants
in the form of native plants and animals.

"City Environmental Conservation Record 12S496"

Dreams Adrift [Ephemeral Memories]

Long years of neglect have made the building an optimal
home for various animals. It's pretty much their paradise,
and it makes me wonder exactly many generations had their
lives begin and end here.

But that's when I started to worry. Humanity might very well
return to this place someday, you know? And if that happens,
is it okay to steal the animals' home away?

"City Environmental Conservation Record 12S496"

A Different View [Ephemeral Memories]

The building had essentially snapped in two. I was attempting
to repair it and prevent further damage when I found the
critters: Mus musculus, or house mice. They're quivery
little things that run and hide the second they hear me,
although who can blame 'em with all the predators in the area.
I imagine they'll spend their entire lives quaking in fear here
in the dark.

"Urban Environmental Protection Record 12S557"

A Different Path [Ephemeral Memories]

Eventually, the mouse who escaped became the leader of another
pack that travels around in search of food. One group lives
terrified and meager lives, but has a safe place to hide.
The other lives on the precipice of danger, but has more
than enough food. I'm not going to debate which is happier,
but I AM curious to see how the babies of the wild group
respond to me. Hopefully that's the next thing I'll observe.

"Urban Environmental Protection Record 12S557"

A Different Dream [Ephemeral Memories]

I've been watching the mice ever since I started repairing
the building, and noticed they only venture out when they
want food. The others hate the idea so much that I've seen
mice dragging others back if they try to leave. But today,
one little guy made it out. It shook off the other mice,
used agility to escape its predators, and ran for the wild.
I think it just hated living in fear.

"Urban Environmental Protection Record 12S557"

A Fleeting Love [Ephemeral Memories]

Dear Mom,

Thanks for the pic of the garden—the kalanchoe look great!
Your letters really help me enjoy days I can't leave my room.
Dad works all the time because of me, so it must be rough for
you alone at home. I'll try to get better as soon as I can. Love you!

"A Letter to a Mother (2009)"

A Fleeting Voice [Ephemeral Memories]

Dear Mom,

Well, I'm settling into my new life. Dad says he's sorry he doesn't
know when I can go home, but I'm sure he can cure me. I really
want to get better and come see everyone again soon.

"A Letter to a Mother (2003)"

A Fleeting Dream [Ephemeral Memories]

Dear Mom,

Thanks for the letter. Sorry I couldn't write back last month—I'm
sure Dad has told you already, but my symptoms aren't good.
Still, the researchers are all working hard, so don't worry about
me, okay?

"A Letter to a Mother (2012)"