A Computer Dream

In my twenties, I was working in a computer center. Pretty low-level lights, and warm. The computers were red, about seven feet tall and four feet wide, with black and silver fronts thick with instrumentation. I had a clipboard and was going about, busy checking readouts.

An alarm went off. Reaching up, I hit a large, square black button at the top of the machine before me. Almost instantly, I realized I’d made a mistake: that was the off switch for the entire computer center. I pressed the button again, thinking that if I was fast enough, it wouldn’t go off.

Another alarm began sounding. A female voice said that the system was shutting down. Groaning and cursing emerged from all over. My supervisor, a female a few inches shorter than me, came over. I told her that I’d accidently pressed the off button. She was all smiles. “It happens.”

“I can turn it back on,” I offered.

“No,” she answered. “We’ll just call it a day.”

As everyone packed up and left, I went back to the broad, flat expanse of my desk. Binders of fanfold paper were stacked on my right. It was my plan to go through them. A male co-worker came by and mentioned that he needed to find someone to sweep up the computer center “because the cleaning crew was coming in”. I said I’d do it. Finding the broom, I went through, sweeping piles of paper coffee cups and sheets together. As I did, I mused, weird to clean for the cleaning crew.

The dream ended.

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