Lunch hour at this cement-sealed corporate powerhouse is a painful exercise. My work friends, if they can be so called, dine at a veritable banquet table, dozens of them, of all sizes and anatomies. Some are as big as houses. Some are thinner than reeds, and just as green. Some have the composition of rocks. Others glisten like snakes. Several have inhuman transistors and antennae implants that track mean red lumps down their spines, six or eight spider-like limbs protruding from their skulls that twitch and dip uncomfortably close to the facial orifices of their tablemates. God knows what they’re eating–ambrosia salad and leeches in swamp water, apparently, based on the images I snatch as I shuffle past. They are rigid and proper, smiling politely at each other’s inane comments. They don’t even notice I’m not there.
I take my tray and go sit with the sentient motorized weight lifting machines, our stock and trade. The arm press sways it’s handles as I approach, emitting what I assume is a friendly beep-boop-whirrr-snik! in it’s servo language.
I put the tray of meat loaf and salad on my black panty-hosed knees and raise a fork to my lips as I survey the murmuring grey expanse before me. The arm press on my right converses with a spunky adductor station to my left, chatting in a sequences of chimes and clangs that go right over my head. But I don’t mind. It’s just nice to belong for the moment.