Alert: This is a test. For the next four to five hundred words, this blog will conduct a test of the Innovative Blog Post Alert Service. This is only a test.

Life is crashing in. Commitments and obligations have piled up. Disappointments and stresses flood about you. People want too much. You’re near the point of a break-down, and if you’re old enough to remember the magic words that will transport you from this mess, you lift your hands to the heavens and say, “Calgon, take me away!”

You find yourself in a luxurious marble temple that overlooks a pastoral landscape. Your cares no longer exist. The sun’s thermostat is just where you set it. Your reading chair is angled just the way you like it. And on the west colonnade, a bubble bath awaits you.

The warm water soothes your frayed nerves. You shut your eyes, and the urgent to-do list slides into the water, diluted to the point of non-existence. Your calendar is clear, and no one expects you to do anything. Food appears and disappears when you desire—no menu planning or cleanup required. If you want to stay in the bath all day you can; no one is there to bang on the door needing to use the toilet. Or if you’d rather read a book or dance in the sun—go for it.

At first, you cannot believe your good fortune. You nestle down into the soothing waters and lie back and rest. Your dream has come true, a life without obligation, conflict, or worry.

But at some point, the water moves from tepid to cold. The soapy froth dissipates. When you finally open your eyes, you find that though you are still reposing in an elegant tub surrounded by Grecian columns, the landscape has changed. From your hilltop vantage point far above the cares of this world, you look down on all sides at an expanse of white that curves from beneath your place of respite and then overhead.

You’re inside a bubble.

It protects you not only from life’s many tyrants, but also from those you love. You left your smart phone out there, but it doesn’t matter. This change cleared your schedule, and no one expects you to show up or even tweet minute-by-minute coverage of the temperature of your bath. You’re away living the dream. When your name comes up in conversation, it is said with a soupçon of envy at your good fortune.

But now you’re not so sure. Beyond draining and refilling your tub or reading the stack of books by your reading chair, purpose does not exist in this idyll. You can do what you want, when you want. No one expects anything of you.

Your gaze drifts to an empty kebab skewer lying on your latest dinner plate.

What will you do?

  • If you decide to pop the bubble, turn to the next page in your life.
  • If you decide to wave the skewer into non-existence and remain in the bubble, read this page again.

 This concludes the test of the Innovative Blog Post Alert Service.