I was at some corporate headquarters. A takeover had just been completed. Two others — women — and I were there to go through boxes of stuff. We were part of the company which had just been taken over. But the boxes were from our old company as well as other companies our new corporate masters had previously taken over.
Our boxes were the usual eclectic mix from a software company that had hundreds of computers and monitors for testing. Cables, keyboards, hard drives, zip drives, cassettes, collateral electronic equipment, and tools — small screwdrivers and pliers for working on computers. We were working in a large, open and carpeted space at the junction of elevators and hallways. People went by as we worked, sometimes stopping to make comments. A fun atmosphere prevailed, one of both nostalgia and exploration.
Others began bringing us other boxes. These were from the companies taken over before. Go through those, we were told. See if there’s anything useful. Take what you want.
Bizarrely, first there were cosmetics and personal hygiene kits. One for women, another for men. They were quite fancy. Apparently, we guessed, those were used as a marketing gimmick, given out at trade shows. Using one of those, I washed my face and hair. Then I moisturized. I walked about, looking for a mirror to see myself. Others brought more boxes from my old company. What’s this stuff? I looked through it. Computer games. Purchased software. Why’d they have thought, they wanted to know. Well, some of it was because they needed the programs to do the work. Other stuff was market research, or about packaging and instructions.
I found a hammer and nail. On a whim, I decided to drive the nail into my skull, on the left front temple, right below the hairline. After a little testing, I decided the hammer wasn’t required. The nail was a ten penny steel nail. Pressing its tip into my skin, I wiggled it until it started going in. Then I pressed it firmly down until only the head and about an eighth of an inch of nail showed. I’d left that amount so that I could get it back out more easily. There wasn’t any pain or blood. A little clear fluid trickled out. Brain fluid, I guessed. I was pretty pleased with what I’d done even as I knew it was a little stupid.
More boxes were brought, providence unknown. Others saw the nail in my head. Why did I do that? To see if I could. Doesn’t it hurt? No. I’m sure it’s doing brain damage, I told others. I thought I should remove it but first, I started going through the newest boxes.
Inside these were men’s clothing. It was expensive stuff. Unused. I wondered where it came from. I asked people who went by if they knew. No one did until a woman going by said, that used to belong to the CEO. He was always buying new clothes. Because he liked clothes so much, people were also always giving him clothes.
I tried a shirt on. It was something beachy. It fit and I liked the style. Keep it, people told me. Take whatever you want. Okay.
I still had the nail in my head. I decided it was time to take it out. Finding a mirror, I seized it between my fingernail and gently pulled it free. It didn’t bleed but a little clear fluid trickled out. More brain fluid, I guessed again.
I wanted to put something on the spot where I’d pulled out the nail and began looking for medical supplies, going through the boxes. There were now so many, we had piles of them all over the place. More clothing and electronic gear was discovered. Games. Other software. Others kept interrupting with questions. People wanted to take some stuff. Go ahead, I said.
I finally found a medicine kit. It was huge. Very fancy. All I needed was a small bandage. I found gauze pads and tape. I was just trying to decide what to do when the dream ended.