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Bike

I am connected to three machines. The machines are in my ear. They are strapped to my feet. They are not taking me anywhere. If I grab the handles on my sides, my heart machine will start thumping into this bike machine. My pulse will display.

I love my machines. Their pulsing, twitching fulminations. Their inflations and deflations. Their electric tingles. I love feeling them enter standby mode. And fueling them up. And expending them. I even love it when they hurt. Any index of their work is precious to me. It reminds me that my machines fill with oxygen and fluid, and then they drain. They do this all the time, by themselves.

My machines are well trained.

My machines worry too much. Maybe that's what really keeps them going. My worry about them. But then, my worry is the product of at least one of my machines. Or maybe of one of my macbine's malfunctions. The repair guy is out sick, so I can't tell if you either way.

The products of my machine are difficult to quantify. Words are some of them. Those products are easy to count. But the thoughts and images? Quiet moments of static and periods of frenetic activities? Difficult to say.

I collect my machines in this box of flesh, which is also a machine. It paints itself, the box, the flesh. The sun paints it red like rusty iron.

Less a box than a bag. Less a bag than a blanket folded up just so, only by some miracle not spilling its contents on the floor. Yet.

My machines won't grow obsolete, just tired. They will wear, no matter the oils and high grade fuels. When one of my machines breaks so badly that the whole system goes down they'll bury them all together. It doesn't matter if some of them go on working for a few hours.

Though there's a picture of my heart machine on my drivers license. Which means I'd donate my machines to another.

Sometimes I forget my machine-ness. I think I'm air, a bubble, floating eyeless in the clouds, looking out and all around. That too is just a projection of my projecting machine. Remembering that makes me look back at the clock.

25 minutes. Five more to go until I get off this machine. I will have pedaled ten miles but no miles. I will have burned off some of the weight of the machines in an effort to sharpen their edges, make them more efficient, keep them in good working condition.

I give my machines deadlines, instructions, suggestions for how to improve functionality. They fart at me in response. Tells me to sit there, and just wait to see what happens.

So instead, I strap myself into this thing. Something tells all the little parts to move and I pedal. I usually just let my machines do their thing. But my pedaling also powers this bike. It powers me. It keeps my lights on tonight.