I wake up suddenly. I fell asleep, somehow. Panic. Was I snoring?

I rub my face, hoping that will be enough to wake me up. The events of the day are bearing down on my concentration. What was I doing?

Ah, yes, working.

Whoever invented the eight-hour workday obviously factored in the six-hour rest into it. I know few people who work more than two hours a day. I always wonder what did people think, way back then, when production lines started to spring up all over the place along with their regimented work schedules and the accompanying factories. Were they scared? By people I mean those in the trenches, workers, not intellectuals, the people that worked for ten or twelve hours up to their necks in grease and sweat so they could make just enough to sustain their family. What did they talk about at dinner? Maybe what they experienced was just like it was for us, when one day we woke up and instead of walls we had cardboard covered with fabric all around us. But it couldn't be the same. They didn't have Tom Cruise, or Britney Spears next to a thousand wars and famine on every CNN broadcast.

For some reason there's a question dancing in my head. A voice without voice, the kind that doesn't sound like anything we know, is asking: If life is a dream, what's the meaning of a McDonald's Drive-In?

A chime. Two chimes. Enough philosophy for the moment.

Instant Messaging beckons.