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Every Day the Same Dream

The other day I played Every Day the Same Dream after being alerted to it by Anthony Burch’s recent article. This was originally meant as a reply to that article, but I felt that it went beyond the scope of just that.

Every Day the Same Dream illustrates that we spend our entire lives acting as a cog in the machine. We work away our lives in this monotonous cycle, tirelessly trading the present in hopes of a brighter tomorrow.  If we spend too much time preparing for the future, the present is lost entirely. All our lives we think about what once was, and what is to come, rarely stopping to remember what actually is. Yet, if every moment is lived in preparation and anticipation of what may come to pass, it is one of emptiness, lacking in any form of intent and inevitably leads the individual closer and closer to the grave.

Every Day the Same Dream shows us our lives for what they truly are. We play the game in the same manner in which we live: making slight variations, over and again in hopes of getting from one step to the next. An old woman in the elevator of your apartment complex tells you that in x “more steps and you will be a new person.” The voice of experience calls out to us. It tells us what we need to do to be successful. Yet, at the end of each task there is another. We all search for a purpose in our lives, perhaps in vain. As our time on this planet draws to a close, we pass on what little we have learned so that others grow closer to this intrinsic human goal.

Despite knowing that we are enslaved by the machine, we knowingly go through the rat race that is modern life. I cannot hope to imagine the amount of hours I have spent on the I-10 sitting in LA traffic, which is negligible to those that commute that route every day at peak hours. Despite, this we drive to work every day, take our lumps from our superiors about how we could function better in our positions, and sit down at our cubicles.

I went through that first day very methodically. I interacted with everything set before me, and followed a very logical and systematic progression. I dressed turned off the alarm, got dressed, bid my wife a good morning, turned off the television, spoke to the lady in the elevator, went to the parking lot, went about my daily commute, got harassed by my boss, made my way to my cubicle and finally sat down. As I repeated this process, I began to wonder what the point was. Soon I went everywhere half dressed and did not do more than I had to, in order to get through my day. I wanted to find the end. I wanted to get out.

I witnessed the last leaf fall from a barren tree. Death. This is what is in store for me. When going to work that day I walked past my desk and leapt off the roof of the building. Suddenly, I awoke. It was just a nightmare.

Rather than proceeding along this linear path from home to work, I decided to break a traditional convention from videogames and discovered I could move left as well as right. I met a homeless man. He expected nothing from me and wanted nothing more than to spend some time at me in a quiet place with another person. We seek human connection.

On the way to work, I grew tired of the traffic and abandoned my car. I walked into a nearby field, and spied a cow, which I approached so that I might pet it. Before me was an animal that spent the totality of its days enjoying its life. There it ate and slept, free from the expectations of society. I was fired that day for refusing to wear appropriate clothing to work. Personal liberty and deviation from the standard is not tolerated within the machine.

Perhaps, success, as defined and accepted by society is not success at all. I realised that when I reach the end of my days, I did not wish to look back and discover that I had never truly lived. Our purpose is not defined by what is achieved in our cubicles. Life is found in nature, and with those whom we surround ourselves.

I awoke the next morning alone, completely and utterly alone. My wife, the old woman in the elevator, the homeless man down the street, commuters on the freeway, my boss, and the mindless automatons who worked astride me had all disappeared. It was at this moment that I witnessed the last human left alive, throw himself from the tower. Suicide. I had once thought of suicide, but in nature and community I had found life worthwhile. Had they all realised the pointlessness of their existences?
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About Kyle MacGregor Burlesonone of us since 1:40 PM on 02.16.2009

I used to work here. Now I just hang around and make a mess.

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