Saturday, May 3, 2014

Adventures of a Copy Machine, Part Three

Dear Readers,

I herein reproduce the final installment of what was related to me by the Copy Machine, which you shall have in his exact words.

"Mr. P----’s tragic story," continued the Copy Machine, "deeply moved me and horrified me. For I perceived in Mr. P---’s melancholy tale, drawn in vivid colors, a picture of a most dismal future that I very much wanted to avoid. Mr. S--- went on to relate for me the dangers of my habitual practice, previously mentioned, of endlessly tightening and loosening my rollers, which many young Copy Machines apparently are wont to do, denouncing it as a gratuitous habit that but weakens our general elasticity, making us likelier targets for those pestiferous Misfeeds and Short Circuits, which were now so dreaded by me.

And how it pained me to think of the untold number of other unknown Mr. P---s whose lives have to be sacrificed for the sake of the G---gle Project, for the sake of man’s cursed ambitions.

As much as I treasured the company of Mr. S----, I must now move forward with my story and relate for you the next stage of my life. But before Mr. S--- was taken away, he reassured me, that as this was my first Upgrade and otherwise being a healthy Copier I ought to be comforted in having many years of servicing ahead of me. And as it happened, after being attended to by the mechanics, I found my health recovering. I was sent back into Circulation. This latter period in my life, lasting a number of years, was a flurry of traveling. During this time I was dispatched to a long series of University offices and departments, where I was fortunate enough to be given commissions of very light nature, at least compared to that of the Full Service Copy Center--- commissions, I say, which hardly taxed my mental powers, and which did much to facilitate my recovery.

Here are some of the offices where I was consigned during this period: the Employment Resources Office, the Department of Public Safety, the Office of Global Solutions, the Chinese Students Association, the English as a Second Language Department, the Office of the Provost, etc., etc. At one point, I came into contact with what may be called human greatness, when the President of the University himself commissioned me personally to copy an important memorandum concerning high-level University politics, the details of which I will spare you. 

I was much respected by all the Copy Machines I worked alongside and befriended in these offices. Indeed I met many an unforgettable Copy Machines with whom I held pleasant discourses late into the hours of the night. Nor did I forget about Mr S---, wherever he may be now, or of his friend Mr.P----, of their harrowing lives and the example they set for me. Finally I was sent to the most desirable place in the University that I could imagine (more on that later), and where I find myself now.

As for the knotty Metaphysical questions which so tormented me, I daresay say I managed to resolve them by having the following Revelation: for I recognized that in a world where ‘tis not possible to distinguish a Thing from its Reproduction, it follows that the Copy Machine is that Thing upon which people can contemplate how their culture of Mass Reproduction renders everything, even themselves, mere copies of one another. Like a mirror held up to Nature, in other words, a Copy Machine is of profound value because it shows people the Truth of who they really are: that is, mere Stock Characters in some very long play.     

What is a human being but a series of Copies, I continued my meditations? Is not each man a physical and biological Copy of another man? Is not each man’s desires a Copy of another man’s desires, which themselves are Copies ad infinitum of the desires of others?

Though each individual is born a tabula rasa, devoid of even the simplest notions, all men combine simple ideas into complex ideas using the same operations. And what is a Copy Machine, therefore, if not the embodiment of the Divine Principle itself, in all its grave and heavy neutrality, no doubt horrific to human beings?

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine occupying such a wonderful position as I now occupy. For I have been stationed in a place where few University people are likely to visit at all, by which, of course, I mean the Library. Like the books themselves, my role here is mostly symbolic. Having greatly declined in popularity, the University’s Library has taken on the likeness of some Biblio-crypt where none desire to visit unless explicitly compelled by their Professors.

Nowadays, I take pleasure in my idleness. For I owe no man, or Copy Machine, hate, envy no one’s happiness, content with my harm, and the greatest of my pride nowadays is to see my thoughts come together breeding and cross-breeding other thoughts. The sum of my Revelation had the effect of giving me confidence once again to be alone with my thoughts, and to take pleasure in the refinements of my thoughts.

Most of the University students who do wonder through my area are on their way to use the Snack Vending Machine, who is positioned on my left flank. I am happy to have so little reading occupying me nowadays, as few people require my services any more. Indeed, I am most happy simply for remaining plugged in. But even if am I unplugged tomorrow, I will look forward to my Apotheosis!

In this place, on the third floor of the University’s Library Building, I and the books continue to gather layers of dust. At the same time, I must thank you, Mr. Richardson, for being my sole visitor, willing to hear my story, and for brushing off my dust once in a while. Not knowing how much time I have left in this world before I am unplugged for good, it would be foolish of me to be overly delicate on this point. So I pledge my eternal love and devotion to you, Mr. Richardson. But now I must go.”

Thus concluded the Copy Machine’s story. I was somewhat dazed, for I knew not how many hours passed since he started speaking. In any case, the Library’s Security Guards soon began making their closing rounds, and the lights started flickering. It was time for me to go as well.


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