Friday, February 25, 2011

The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part XXXVII

You had this little treasure chest, filled with nuggets of absurdity.

Yes, these were your treasures.

In your leisure, you would take them out and look at them,

Turning them this way and that, that you would see them from every angle,

Every angel,

Every facet,

Every faucet,

Turning on the flow, or turning it off, as you pleased,

No facet be sterile or stable,

But every facet being fact, facile, fauction,

Absurd is odd, you know, in that absurd be not exacerbated.

Exacerbated absurd becomes ugly, stable, unangelic, unfacilitated.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part XXXVI

You had forsaken the mailroom. You had forsaken THE FIRM.

You had never expected a lot of money from the job. Your only ambition was to get by.

You had never expected a great deal of entertainment from the job. Your only ambition was to get by.

You had never expected a great deal of fulfillment from the job. Your only ambition was to get by.

The mailroom never had forsaken you. It had been steadfast by you. As far as you could tell (and you were diligent) the mailroom had never slept around.

You only wanted to get by. THE FIRM had let you get by. THE FIRM had encouraged you to get by.

You got by. Then you went away.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part XXXV

You were powwowing with some of your ex-employee’s co-workers down in the mailroom—these are employees of THE FIRM for which you also have supervisory responsibilities. Though you supervise them, you rarely talk to them, and you don’t even remember the last time you talked to them face to face.

You almost don’t remember the last time You were down in the mailroom. You don’t know why you don’t go down there more often. There’s something nice about it down there.

You had your meeting with the employees, and then you just started hanging around for awhile. Maybe two or three hours. It was nice. Everything was in order down there, but it is an informal order. THE FIRM has never invested in upgrades down there the way it has everywhere else. Maybe you're just experiencing the pleasure of a change of pace, but once again you are nagged by the thought things were so much better before, back then.

When you got back to your office, you wrote a nice report about your observations and discussions, and filed it away in folder 696969 in cabinet 131313. It was then you noticed something, or thought you noticed something. (You aren’t sure.) You were uncomfortable again. You notice the discomfort isn’t something entirely vague or abstract: it is associated with dryness of the skin around your nostrils and mouth. There’s that scratchiness again. It had gone away at some point while you were down in the mailroom.

The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part XXXIV

Most of the mailroom area looks much the way you imagine it looked one and a half centuries ago: in some places the hard rock from which the space was excavated is still exposed and used as wall. No covering, nothing. So, in a way, there are places in the mailroom which not only look the way they did one and a half centuries ago, but the way they looked millions of years ago—if there had been someone around to look at them.

You've never been physically uncomfortable down here, though. It never gets too cold, too hot, too humid—none of that. The air is never dank down here, even when lots of people are packed in working (though that’s a rare situation, for sure.)

There was that one time when power outages mid-summer transformed most of the city into a sweltering nightmare…Old people died of the heat. You'd expected it would be cooler down in the mailroom. You are under a lot of ground down there, after all. There’d be a “root cellar” effect.

The air was not only cool, it was virtually unchanged. Unchanged in temperature, humidity, whatever. You then learned about THE FIRM’S remarkable auxiliary power systems. Scattered in several urban locations were independent power generation plants, utilizing more than one kind of power source, and wired back into the building utilizing several separate feeds. It turns out that all of the building's support systems are similarly, elaborately backed up.

You place a message in a capsule and into the brass pneumatic tube, for delivery to room 6969 on floor 1313. This particular pneumatic tube is bolted vertically to one of the largest of the hard rock walls of the mailroom. Fluoup! Air pressure within this vestigial, obsolete, but perfectly serviceable technology carries the message upwards and away.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part XXXIII

You prize off the grill. Dang… Look at this thang. It is exquisite. The fit with the wall is so flush—no air is sucked under the outside of the metal. All the air sucked is through the louvers. Look at these louvers: these things were crafted. Craft beyond craft meaning beyond science and art, the combination of science and art. There’s no way to calculate air pressure in your office instantaneously so as to get the angle of the louvers satisfactory for all conditions: a compromise had to be struck. But these louvers do not appear to be the result of a compromise. They are precise—to what specification? You do not know.

You could imagine the much-vaunted computer technology to be applied to the louvers: these could be “smart” louvers. Louvers able to respond to the conditions in your office to modify the angle, the thickness, the hardness, the aerodynamic qualities of your louvers, so that no matter the relative humidity, the temperature, the chemical composition of the ambient air of your office, flow through the louvers into the air ducts will be laminar, ( not turbulent, not turbulent, not turbulent.)You've looked long and hard at the louvers and the surrounding areas of your office: computer and sensor technology have not been utilized.

You are surprised you are allowed to “get into the louvers” or “get into the ducts”. You were able to “get into them” through your weakness: the desire to catch a smoke during the working hours, without leaving the building. You watched the smoke of your cigars disappear inconsequential, silently conspiratorial, into the willing opening of the grill and ducts of perfection, smoothed so nice and convenient for your weakness, as if the building was predisposed to tolerate personal weaknesses such as yours.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part XXXII

You were huddled against the grill of the effluent flux affixed to your office wall. You often were down there, during your working day, taking a "constructive" break from the "work"you were paid for, yet hated, or paid for because you hated it, hated that time.

You were once paid for being someone who couldn't conceivably huddle, and who hated comfort...At least you got a slight premium for being such...You were a hero.

Remember, you had reconstructed yourself as a hero after being thoroughly disabused of heroism.

You were huddled against the grill of the effluent flux affixed to your office wall. Sometimes you took the grill off, though there was nothing to see. You noticed, grill on or grill off, how efficiently, how beautifully, your smoke was evacuated into, the huddle of the completely-wall-embedded ducting system. You never need worry of even a trace of your smoke being detected, by nose or sensor, in your office. It was all gone out--nothing left. The air quality of your office was the ambient air quality of the building as a whole, of the city as a whole.

The laminar flow of the evacuated air in duct--absolutely perfect (to turbulence, no turbulence, no turbulence.) What was more--in your office, no white noise at all. Not from the lamps, not from the draw of your office (stack effect, air flow through ventilation, etc.), not from your floor vibrating into the building vibrations--not from anywhere. Not a single mischievous sound. Someone somewhere in this damned organization knew what they were doing. Otherwise, white noise would abound, as it abounds in every other building in this damned city.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part XXXI

You weren't e'en interested in comfort when you were most comfortable. You were in action. You were in action, though you knew your action was comforted against the social. Against that frame of the Other you wouldn't so much sit against as warm yourself against.

Warming against. "warming against" you see, and you want others to see, is not an opposition. It is another type of relationship: the relationship of the soul against soul, now know known as the event of one into or along the Other.

To huddle isn't to be comfortable. To be truly comfortable, you must be courageous. You must ....

Don't you really want to know what you must do to be comfortable?