John Houck

Every few months I have this nightmare in which I’m still working in a cubicle at Sun Microsystems. This is a photo of my desk on my last day at Sun. I worked there as a software engineer for five years. Everything in the office is beige and “Sun blue.” There is an empty Snickers wrapper and a very old flip phone on the desk.

In my nightmare, the world is simple. I find all the right answers, nothing is messy, and life feels hopelessly lonely and futile in its repetitiveness. I’m grateful that feeling of isolation propelled me to go to graduate school and to find a more embodied, messy, and fulfilling life.

John was featured in Romka 10 in 2017.