Thursday, February 08, 2007


Somewhere, a nerdy little high-tech software engineer is sitting in his cubicle, smugly smiling to himself as he looks at a faded Post-It note taped to his Hermann-Miller walls. On it lies one word. The sum total of this man's creative existance is epitomized in this word.

He came up with it as he was poring over server kernal error messages and completing the world's hardest Sudoku puzzle in pen. He smiles to himself as he inputs the final number, finishing the puzzle and his day's excitement. He reaches for a pathetic, sweating glazed donut, raises it to his mouth, and then it happens. The light bulb flickers a couple times, searching for a current to hold on to. The light glows its brightest, brighter even than the time he discovered the sortcut to work behind the "It's Bean Fun" coffee shop.

The donut falls in slow motion, bits of glazed sugar and congealed fat following close behind, as it plummets to the now-finished number puzzle on the table. Quickly, he reaches into his protected pocket, grabs a trusty .05 millimeter mechanical pencil and reaches for the Post-It Note pad he "accidentally" forgot to leave at his desk.

He spells the word out, one letter at a time, careful not to lose sight of his epiphany or mar its beauty. The small-capped letters (the most efficient and easiest to read of all handwriting) combine to create the one thing that certifies his existance; that finally reinforces to him that he will make a difference to this world. It has no period. No exclamation point. His hands shake quietly as adrenaline courses through his veins, finally satisfied with the knowledge that he can once more look his mother in the eye during dinner. He has made it; his mark will forever be in the annals of high-tech speak alongside the "deep dive," the ubiquitous "flag pole," and the ever-present "box," begging to be thought outside of.