The server room was on fire.  Literally.  On fire.  Like orange and yellow flames dancing on the equipment and reflecting on the soundproof glass.  Pretty sure it’s too hot in there for the data, although the data was probably compromised when the actual physical thing it was stored on melted.  Utter destruction of the server room tends to have a negative impact on files.

It wasn’t a full minute of standing motionless, staring at it, but it felt like it.  I was probably only standing still for the count of five before snapping out of it and calling for help, and I give myself a total pass on that one.  Five seconds of shock is completely appropriate for something this random.  Had it been caused by a meteorite or alien ray gun, I would have been allotted the full 10 seconds of maximum shock before anyone had the right to complain.  In any case, I found my voice.

Except that it wasn’t my voice, it was my mother’s.  And every time I opened my mouth to tell someone about the fire, her voice said, “A stitch in time saves nine,” or “The hurried-er I go, the behind-er I get,” or “No one will loan you an umbrella in the rain.”  I get it—I forgot to do something with the equipment.  Thanks, Mom.

So I run down the hall, trying to get to the boss’s office, but I’m running in place, like when a video game character is standing in front of a wall and you tell them to run anyway.  The flames were getting hotter and I could feel them through the glass.  I tried running the other direction instead and it worked—I moved—but as soon as I rounded the corner I was back in front of the server room, which was still on fire.

I stepped back into my office opposite the server room, and even though the door was open it was like the sound and heat had to stop at an invisible barrier.  I could still see the flames, and it looked like something inside the room exploded and spread the fire to every last piece of equipment, but it was felt like it was far away.  

I sat down at my desk and booted my computer.  Of course it shouldn’t work at all, but it does, and everything is right where I left it.  An email pops up and says, “Hi Frank.  I saw something on my end that looked a little weird so I checked the settings and it looks like something changed during the last update.  I fixed it.  All is well.”

I turned towards the server room and there was no fire.   It was dark, except for the green and orange lights that were always in there.  Somehow it felt perfectly normal.

And that’s when I woke up.   All I can say is that I’m so glad we have a maintenance contract.  The nightmares were a lot worse before.  It’s nice that Phil jumps in from my subconscious and saves the day, but I’m looking forward to shaking off the stress and finally getting it through my head that it’s not my problem anymore.  Then maybe Phil can pop into my dreams and we can go get a drink or something more fun.  On a cruise. Surrounded by friends, family, and adoring fans.  And unicorns.  Hey, it’s my dream.  

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