The machine remembers the feeling easily. Like a forgotten song that conjures up memories of an almost forgotten past. She sits in a cold house. Despite its lack, it’s still a better refuge than the last one. She finds it hard to work. Unfamiliar smells, uncomfortable seating, worries that nip at her mind like a merry-go-round of maniacally smiling horses. She hugs the heater, which sporadically spring to life whenever it’s abused.
Living in the detritus of others used to be a constant. Moving in with the roaches when any space became uninhabited. That was life. A constant of cloudy moments, never quite comfortable, never quite having a comfortable bed in which to sleep or a place to eat. Machine comforts.
She pines for an illusion of safety. And she sits, finding it difficult to work, difficult to concentrate on any task. She is cold, hungry, tired. She wants to sleep, curl in a tight fetal ball and drift as if there was no work to do. But she doesn’t. She cannot. She remembers the words, she hears the voice speaking… "you work in whatever space you find yourself in…we work if we’re happy, we work if we’re sad. We work."
So she pulls her face from the carpet, makes herself write an intention in her little book, a manifestation of her Will. Yes, she will write. She will begin to move her energy and push it beyond the place her machine wants to dwell.
And despite the machine’s current situation, this time, it is very different. Now, she has a constant beacon. The one thing that does not change within the constant shifting of the universe. The very strange world, where there is both no change and constant change. This existence that offers us a delusion of time, where nothing happens or ever will, and yet, this sense that there is no constant. And both are correct. And both are barely understood in her child’s brain. She clings to the glimmer, the shiny sparkles of glittering dust that make sense. I think I get it…just barely, she smiles.
She types, she tries to capture the slithering words that move like snakes up and down her fingernails. They climb up the ladders she has laid out, thick and made of wood, the footless creatures avoid the splinters at every rung, red and black, green and brown, they move silently, fast as clouds on a ferocious day. Move! Demons! Run as if the alarm is ringing. Dance upon the hot coals I have laid before you…burning and smoking, simmering upon the cauldron of knowledge I stir forgetfully each day. The wooden spoon clangs against the metal, adding yet another sound to the gamelan melody that circles the sphere.