I passed through the bowels of the beast today. I have seen its dark places and its light places, slow places and fast places. I have been inspected, poked and prodded, taken apart and put back together so many times. I have been edited and redirected, moved and shaped, but remained the same. Laptop over one shoulder, coat over the other, passport in pocket, my world is a bubble and everything else is just "outside". Paperwork is pulled out of me and returned to its slot; layers stripped and restored. I am self, and contained. I bounce through the eddies of the machine, settling down and spreading out to rest for a few minutes where the current slows. Every room, each place is different in so many ways, but I notice nothing except how long I stay before moving on again.