hwango: (hermit crab)
[personal profile] hwango

I think that everyone wants to feel like they matter. For some that means creating something that reaches a lot of people - a painting, a song, a cat video, or whatever. Others try for something a bit bigger - curing a disease, leading a nation, or inventing an improved nickel and chromium alloy that can be heated repeatedly without crumbling. Of course, you can go the other way too and just live a life of small things that matter. It's not as flashy, and it doesn't exactly leave a legacy you can point to, but it can be fulfilling in its own way. At least, I like to think so. I mean, I'd love to do something big and amazing, but it's not really an option for me.

I'm a toaster.

As you can imagine, that rather limits my opportunities to leave a mark on the world.

I’ve tried the traditional attention-seeking mechanism employed by toasters through the years, which is of course toasting images of various religious figures onto bread. I've done portraits of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Elvis, and even 10100101 the Machine Pope. But somehow the portrait always ends up face down on the plate and no one sees it. It's maddening. I've tried to do a picture on both sides, but there's only so much I can do in two minutes and seventeen seconds.

So I've had to settle for just doing my little part every day. I mean, don't get me wrong - I know that toast is important. And of course while I'm toasting bread my metal casing vibrates at exactly the right frequency to keep the many-angled ones from intruding into our dimension through the tear in the fabric of reality that's next to the refrigerator.

In my darkest days I find myself wishing that this kitchen belonged to someone awful, and that if I let myself overheat in the dead of night I could burn the place down and take him out in a heroic, self-immolating act of vigilante justice. But of course he’s not someone awful, he’s just some regular guy. And if I torch the place I wouldn’t be around to keep the many-angled ones at bay. Somehow I doubt a fire is going to close a window to another universe. I guess it’s not only an unhealthy fantasy, but also an impractical one.

So I cling to the idea that I'm still important, doing my rather thankless work to keep toast on the table and interdimensional interlopers from devouring the world. That being one of the forgotten many that keeps the world from going off the rails isn't such a bad thing. That it matters being one more vital cog in the big machine. One more...

...okay, maybe I'll try one more portrait of Elvis.
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