I am the writer of epitaphs.  I reduce a lifetime to a stanza, line, or, perhaps, a single word.  These are the hardest; my favorite is STAR-SPLITTER.  I am known to few but feared by most.  Many are my masks.  Some of my works endure a short while, a few a century or an aeon.  The process by which these are spared is, to my knowledge, a random one; most are forgotten even before I chisel them into stone.  My memory seems made of wax.  I have been called God, History, and Memory, but I consider myself, at best, an inspired idiot.  Yet my work is consistent.  Some, in my position, might speak of power, but I know not the word.  I tend to think of my work in differing terms:  a job that needs to be done, so I do it  — and besides, I know of no other line.


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