Life as a Machine: Real Politiks

I wish I took more risks. Sometimes, I want to grab my jacket and run for the outdoors, but then my brain starts turning gears, and I’m left with so many questions. “What’re you going to do at the park? What if it gets hot? Do you have enough cash?” I can’t just leap into a decision unless it’s a safe one. The safe decision can mean saving money or keeping my gas tank at the same spot or simply going to a party. But no, I forgot how to have fun unless it’s from the comfort of my own home.

I took some risks a few years ago. I hurt some people in doing so, but I just didn’t care. I ran for student government at my college on a whim, and even though I was a starving student, I spent every cent on my name to beat out my opponent. I lost the rat race, but I didn’t regret it. It was a different type of opportunity I put out there, one that opened my eyes.

How laughable it is to believe in someone you don’t know and you don’t get a bad vibe from them, yet, they still know how to drive a blade into your back. The student government president was that person for me. During the whole campaign, he was civil but he really thought I was nobody. My opponent, his baby frat bro, was more important even though I dedicated a year of service to his presidency. I learned how shady fraternities and sororities could be once they had an ounce of power. I broke a few rules, but he broke the thread of trust I held for him or greek life.

On the night they announced the winners, I didn’t cry when I saw the numbers. I lost, not fair and square, but lost because I didn’t have a white sorority backing me. He came up to me as the numbers sunk in. When I looked him in the eye, there was nothing there. Whatever he said, it was just him saying something to fill in the gaps. Everything changed. I changed. And I cried at that moment. My frustration was greater than my control, and I walked away.

The biggest risk for me, being a machine and all, was returning to his office and finishing the rest of the semester under his cabinet. Not only that, but I came back for a second year under his cabinet and created a new position just for myself. Now that I think back on it, he was a moron. He may have played his precious greek privilege card, but his weakness was all too apparent to me that day. Without his fraternity, he wouldn’t be anything. He couldn’t say what he really wanted to say to me. He just let me play his character flaws like a harp. Anyone with a strong personality could easily get their way with him. I knew that the moment I met him after the campaign.

So I squeezed out every ounce of weaknesses I could from him. The problem with real politiks is that the machine is underestimated, especially when the machine is hidden within a sweet and sugary package. He may have handed the campaign to my opponent, but at the end of the day, he let the machines take over his space like a toilet.

It’s a big gamble once you enter the game, too. I knew that, but I still did it. I’m glad I did. I got my foot in the door, and now, the gap is strong than the door holding me back. There are even more risks I have to make. Right now, I’ll just settle for allowing other machines to put their feet into the door. Once I get the courage to unhinge the stupid door, I’ll be the risk taker I need to be.


My Life as a Machine: Facelift

I had the most frightening yet interesting dream last night. I dreamed that when I looked in the mirror one night, my face had these big blisters and boils on my skin. I freaked out like it was a pimple dilemma–“Maybe if I put something on it, tomorrow morning it’ll be gone”–and I proceeded to washing my face and going to bed. The next morning, the exact opposite happened. The blisters were huge! It felt like the blue blisters were alive. I poked one of the blisters on my forehead, and it suddenly burst open. Everything underneath the blister, including some white liquid, came out, and before I knew it, my face was sloughing off!

I panicked as everything began to slide off my face. I was so scared, my heart pounding in my ears, as I brought my hands to the skin of my face and tried to keep it from coming off. Fortunately, I managed to save my skin from completely disconnecting from my chin and I placed it back properly on my face. Even though the blisters were gone and my face looked somewhat normal, the feeling of worms and dirt underneath the skin didn’t dissipate.

But the most amazing part of the dream happened. In most dreams with frightening experiences, I freak out and cause myself to wake up. This time, I didn’t wake up. I remember coaxing my heart to slow and myself to think. “Ok, calm down. You just need to find your brother and he’ll take you to the doctor.” I found my older brother, collected the sloughed derma and liquid together, and made a plan to go to the hospital.

Somehow, during the dream state, I stood back from myself and realized where I was: my face was fine, my body was wrapped in warm blankets, and my room was still dirty. I congratulated myself as I tried to shake off the dream. Although I panicked, I calmed myself down, thought rationally, and followed a sound plan with the help of someone else. I did something that I don’t normally do in dreams, and sometimes, in waking life.

I slowed down.