I work downstairs so I don't have to drive to work. The less
of a distance between home and work, the more likely I am to
go. Just take the elevator down, which is enough of a
trigger. Let me predict my death: stabbing or shooting by
someone standing right outside the elevator door, or in the
elevator. Every time, click click, mechanical glide, I know where
to stand to slice the pie. Phew, no one waiting for me with a
gun or knife. My stomach relaxes. You can see what floor the
elevator is on, so I can usually deduce whether someone is on it.
However, there have been statistical aberrations when someone
will be on the elevator when it wouldn't make sense. Elevator at
one, I'm on nine. Press. Elevator goes to three, stops, picks up
one or more passengers. Rises to four, opens. Up to nine, click
click, mechanical glide, slice the pie, stomach... wait, there's
someone on it.
Eyebrow raises, stomach relaxes (it's only a resident). Then
the trip down. I'm not one of those people that are paranoid
about the elevator falling. Stops at five. Opens, enter citizen.
Curt greetings, eye glances.
Regardless, I work downstairs in Suite 4.
How many widgets can we make with these widget parts? How much
will it cost to ship 30,000 widgets to Chicago? How much should
we sell the widgets for if we want to make a profit. Profit.
We don't do that. I open the door to the office place. Three
best places to look first, in order of avoidance of the third. To
the right, to see if there are people in the conference room. To
the left, my boss' door inches above the cubicles so I can see if
the door is closed. Even if it is, he might still be there. Then
straight ahead, there is a picture on the wall encased in clear
plastic so I can see my reflection. Here I hit one of those
A mind twist, the ghosts are here. Who is that in the
mirror? Who peers at me and knows me, again and again. He who
grows with me and wears my clothes. In Pittsburgh, at school,
before I moved back, I took psychedelic mushrooms for an entire
week in a row. They said to not look in the mirror. He was pale,
with a streaky cat-like face. Feline recognition of stripes with
meanings, the jaguar has "go away" tattooed all over in
Cat. I hissed at him and imagined being older. I saw an ancient
me, an aged body and mind. The mirror consumed me, I fixated on
Ever connect a video camera to a television and then focus
the camera on the television? Empty images fall into a newer
middle until the group of pixels can no longer represent the
No one is in my dorm room, Ian is away. My eyes look into my
eyes, there's no soul, yet. I can see myself over and over
inside, my mind knows how to deal with it, that's the problem.
How many times looped? What is the smallest center thought, like
on the television? My face excretes onto the other side of the
mirror, I continue staring. The last day of a week of tripping on
mushrooms and I have run out, no desire for more. I imagine an
older me, I extrapolate incorrectly as I know now. It isn't
magic, you know, just tripping.
My bed is broken and it effects me. Hissing isn't helping
anymore. Throw something. I lay crooked on the bed, fallen into
the floor at an angle, yet rigidly concentrated on sleep's
impossible boon. My mind is crooked, looking now at a
non-mirror ceiling. It reflects me anyway, I can feel myself in
it now. An illusion? This all comes to me in any mirror, even in
I continue walking to my cubicle. A brief left look to my
mailbox, shrooming incident just leaving the front burner as I
slide past eyes on either side. Two computers in my cubicle,
three if you count me; it's a joke. Knock.
"Hey, I'm here."
He's an Arab, I'm not racist. Verbal miscommunication is
the name of the game here, like it or not. Hard enough for me,
dodging the twists like quicksand pits, never mind a language
barrier. The project, that's all I do, really. Just that one
project, a little other stuff on the side, there's no college
Back to the cubicle across the path, look to the right then
left very quickly, no reason really. The computer asks me for my
name and password. As far as they can tell, I'm glassb
if and only if ataribg .
A message from my boss flickers on the screen. Didn't I just
talk to him a few seconds ago? Update the opiates section.
Opium runs the veins of quite a few. In the lungs of many more.
A distinct first taste, sharp and sweet, with a lingering desire
not to move. Depending on quality, a small headache in the
frontal lobe and a squeeze on the stomach follow an initial
rush of painlessness. Drug pain is different, since the mind is
eased alongside. Available in a rainbow of synthesized flavors,
much easier to obtain than the plant.
Update the opiates section. The code must be changed.
Writing instructions to a computer is not like submitting an
essay to a teacher, each word must be correct or the machine
won't let you proceed. There is a language barrier here, too.
Our product, at one point, will ask which opiates you have
used. It has been misinterpreting the response. Today I must
change this. Scroll down, scroll down. Here is the opiates'
code, I can tell because I speak a bit of this language. I follow
the excerpt of instruction code in my mind, step by step. Don't
see a problem, regardless I run the program to make sure. Turns
out the program will allow the user to enter a selection of one
or more opiates as well as the selection of "None." I
change the code, it will no longer do this. That is my week's