A scratchpad for photographic and literary ideas

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It is springtime and I am in the center of a college campus lawn. There are several red-brick buildings to my left, right and behind me. The lawn stretches in front of me for easily 50 yards before it ends at the street. There are a few large trees on the lawn and fewer people.

I am walking towards the road talking with a friend when a single person passes in front of us. A short time later, another person passes on our left. Then a couple of people pass behind us. As we walk further, several more people pass us.

The almost empty lawn is now crowded with people. My friend and I get separated slightly and I realize that there are so many people that if I duck down, I can hide from my friend and sneak up behind him. Maybe say “boo” or something to surprise him.

It seems like a fun thing to do so I duck down and sneak away.

Before I have gone too far, I poke my head above the crowd and realize that I can’t find my friend. I look in every direction and decide to follow the general flow of people. I reason that my friend probably hasn’t realized that I am missing and is continuing to walk in the direction that we were headed.

I move in that direction and find that I am following someone down a set of steps which are the same brick as the school buildings. We descend into a room that has no discernible dimensions. I cannot tell if the room is large or small.

This room is both dark and light at the same time. There are deep shadows that I cannot see into but the area we are standing in is well lit.

There is a large vat in front of us and we are lined up to get into it. I watch as people get into the vat and lay down on top of the person who got in before them. As soon as they are in the vat, a large press comes down from the ceiling and crushes them.

The whole contraption looks like a human-sized garlic press.

What amazes me is how well it is designed. It is totally efficient. The press is perfectly sized for a human and it is angled so that all of the blood pours neatly out of one end.

There is nothing scary or gross about the press. It seems totally natural to submit to having your blood squeezed from your body and collected. No one is dying from this process or hesitant to enter the vat.

It is my turn and I watch as they squeeze and collect my blood. Afterwards, I stand beside the vat feeling an incredible lightness as I watch the process repeated again and again on others.