Saturday, August 20, 2011
I opened a factory once. It didn’t make anything but people invested in it because they speculated that one day it would make something. They thought it was good factory, with its big conveyer belts and large delivery depot and all of that. The investors thought whatever the factory ended up making would be well made so they bought shares.
After a while, the investors noticed that the factory wasn’t making anything and they panicked and started to sell their shares so I sent out a press release saying that the factory was about to start making something and that it would be great. After the word went out, people started investing in the factory again. The press release got the factory over a difficult bump in the road but the factory never made anything. I wasn’t really interested in that side of the business.
I’m sure you saw my factory. It was on the road to your cousin’s house. Do you remember? It was in the big muddy field. Like a giant tombstone. It had a word written on it. Emblazoned across it. But you can’t remember what the word was. Neither can I to be honest. It was probably a word like ‘Paradigm’ or ‘Optimum’ or ‘Ventron’ (whatever that means). Or maybe it was the name of something from Greek or Norse mythology. Or maybe nothing was written on it or maybe the actual word ‘Nothing’ was written on it. Or maybe there was just a symbol on it, like an astrological thing or maybe a big question mark. Who knows?
Anyway, I eventually sold the factory to someone who sold it someone else who burned it down for the insurance money so there is nothing in that big muddy field anymore except for a strange smell, like melted plastic. But you won’t smell it because you won’t be passing that way. You don’t visit your cousin anymore and haven’t for a long long time. Not since your cousin got drunk and made that cruel observation about you that hurt because it was true or at least kind of true. You rang a taxi from the house and left on polite terms but you both knew you’d never see each other again. You didn’t say a word to the driver the whole way home. You just looked out the window. Lost in your thoughts. You passed my factory. It didn’t even register.
We are an industrious species. The human capacity for invention is limitless as is the human imagination. Even where there is nothing we see something. Well, some of us do. Some of us see opportunity where others just see a big muddy field with an empty factory in it with something written on the factory but it’s hard to say for certain what exactly it says and it doesn’t matter anyway because the factory is on fire.