Death & Telephones by David Weinstock
A man dies young and we snatch at the telephone as urgently as if it were a TV doctor's defibrillator and all stand CLEAR and then BANG and bang and bang again until it is no use and please now, please now stop. How did we die before there were telephones? How did we learn the vital details-- that he died in his bed of a heart attack, reading an old book? How did we call back to ask which book it was? To bury one friend takes a hundred phone calls. Later that month you may read the blue bill as an obituary or a funeral parlor's guest book-- how this one was called and then that one, who already knew, and then, as an afterthought, one or two more, and still more.
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