Provenance

Bob began to have horrible visions every time he picked up his phone. It didn't occur to him to stop using it, so he got to know them very well.

In his visions he was a small kid mining for something in a hellish pit with small tools and never enough food. He died now and then,  and then he was another kid. His boyfriend told him he had probably read an article on how some of the rare minerals in the phone were mined and the visions were his guilt popping up. Neither of them really believed he could feel that much guilt about something like that.

He tried to go Old School and watch more TV. That worked for a while, until gradually the only thing on the screen would be rows of sleepless harried people putting together components of televisions until their bodies and minds broke apart. The night he saw the first of them commit suicide he decided to get therapy.

On the way to his first session he drove around a corner and could suddenly see through his car's windows people dying of heat shock under military-looking tents in camps that weren't there. He stopped the car and got out of it.

His apartment building had once been a factory, before there were laws about who could be paid or forced to do what. He was too far from his home to see what he would see when he came back; he didn't know he would ever again.

He was also far from the waterfront, but he could see and feel the rising waters, angry, unclean, warm.

Bob took off his clothes as fast as he could and stood on the sidewalk  shivering in the warmth. He had seen the people making them chained to their tools. Not from their point of view.

He saw a cop looking at him, calling for reinforcements with his hand on his gun. He knew he would only have to take one step forward. The last.

He couldn't.

He sat on the ground and began to cry.  It made no difference to either the cops yelling at him while pointing their guns or to the floating corpses buoyant despite their chains.