I look into myself while working the day away in my cubicle, creative and meaningful thought forcefully pushed aside so I can be a creative asset to my company and keep my tedious job for another pay period. But I can’t help but to relax my mind, put on some focused white noice, and see what’s happening on the inside.
There is a single swivel chair, not unlike the one in which my body sits. Around me are all sorts of machines, drumming away in efficient rhythm. Cogs and gears and wheels and armatures all work in synchronous harmony. Black computer servers with blinking blue and red lights line the sides of a metal path, a path that seems to always be moving. There is no control panel, no levers, no switches. This machinery has worked on its own for a long time. It needs to outside instruction, no human interference.
Above is a black, domed ceiling, tiled in squares. Each square contains a cooling fan, keeping the machinery cool, preventing overheating. If the machines overheat, will the servers blow? If the servers blow, will I be unable to think, to calculate, to function as a valued associate of my company?
Would I be free from the shackles of my tedium?
I can drown the machines, creating an open water main, flooding the room. Steam fills the dome, despite the fans blowing cool air from the outside. Ankle-deep water spreads, causing the servers to spark and withdraw, as if this condition had solution that had already been conceived.
But it’s not enough. Clouds form near the fans, surrounding them, spreading across the domed ceiling like the water did on the floor. Rain pours down, adding to the water that was already there. Plant life quickly forms, ferns and bushes and trees sprouting from the metallic ground as it was fresh soil.
A thick and knotty tree juts forth from the ground, slamming into the dome as it grows, pushing the tile and cooling fan up with a groan of metal coming free of its structure. There is blue sky outside, with clouds floating by. The tree pushes harder as it grows taller, the opening in the ceiling growing wider. The tree nearly bends as it finally forces its way out, sending its branches and leaves into the sky.
The tree is easy enough to climb, and the dome and its internal mechanisms are left behind to take a brief trek into the sky above. It’s only a temporary trip into the serene atmosphere of this make-believe plane, but it’s a much needed distraction from the monotony of the machine below, no longer visible under the clouds.
The wind blows softly, the sun warms everything it touches, and the sky is bright blue. But it doesn’t last. Nothing this beautiful is meant to.
The machine is also prepared for something like this. Drains open in the floor. The water recedes. The fans work in reverse, sending the rain clouds outside where they belong. The plants wither and die, their husks being washed away with the water. The tree snaps, sending most of it into the unknown. What’s left of it in the dome is chipped and blown out. The water main is gone, replaced by a brand new tiled wall. The broken ceiling tile and fan is repaired as well, no signs of damage of any kind. The servers return, the armatures begin moving again, and everything runs as it should.
The chair in the middle of the dome is waiting.