Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Real World

I woke up and saw rain on the window.  It was raining hard. I got up and looked out.  Behind the smudged window was a wide dirt road, wide enough for a 3 lane highway.  How did I get here?  The last thing I remembered was going to sleep in my bed, now I am here on this dirt road?  Cool!  It must be a lucid dream but yet it felt so real!  I was parked on the side of the road in this car I had been sleeping in.  I wondered if I was now stuck in the mud with all this rain.  I got out of the car to look around.  To the left, the road forked and there was another road about half the size of the main road.  Both roads were flat behind me but then suddenly angled steeply upward in front.  I wondered if the rain and mud would make that steep angle troublesome.  Right where the main road began to ascend, there was a big puddle of water and several cars splashed through it on their way down.  None of them got stuck.  I saw no plants or animals around, where was I?  I took a closer look at the vehicles driving by and realized they all looked old style, like Model T Fords and those kinds of very old vehicles.  I decided to get back into my car and get my keys out and lock it so I could look around, but as I did that, I could feel my consciousness changing. I was pulled back and woke up.

I was in a room.  In front of me was a tall lanky young African American man in casual clothes lounging on a couch joking with me.  His hair was starting to grow out, perhaps in a dreadlock style.  Behind the couch was a large smudged window.  I was standing in the room on an old musty brown carpet.  My head felt weird. I probed my head with my hands and it was covered with thick wooly feeling hair.  The texture felt strange and the feeling was like the hair was clinging to my head.  I wondered if I was African American too.  What was I doing here?  Then I woke up.

In front of me was a rain smudged window.  I heard a loud clicking noise.   A bird was repeatedly flying up and slamming it's claws against the window.  Ah yeah, the bird, it does that sometimes.  I jumped up, grabbed a piece of paper and waved it at the bird, chasing it off.  I was now on my feet, but disoriented.  But this was the real world this time.  I think...       

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Fiber Gods

I and three others were on a mission, similar to Star Trek, to explore this new world.  We had come down and were walking along a dirt road with a simple fence of old rickety looking black strung wire on the right.   A swampy lake lay just beyond the boundaries of the fence with the fence legs in water at many places. All around, lush leafy plants obscured vision, but for some reason did not grow at all in the dirt road, even though it looked unmaintained.  We took many measurements and pondered about the fence and what was beyond, but were not brave enough to venture beyond the road.

After about 5 hours, we decided to return.  All of us were nervous as usual when on a strange planet.  We had already been there for about 5 hours when I realized the lighting hadn't changed at all the entire time, an almost twilight kind of light as if the sun would soon set, but the high haze overcast skies would not let us see the sun or where it was at.  We could not determine the direction of the light source and pondered about the orbit and sun location.  One of my fellow travelers considered that if there were unusual day night patterns here, the computer back on the ship should surely have made a note of it in the briefing, but that had not happened.  He pondered for some time about the many areas of the briefing where such information should have come up but didn't. 

Another reason to always be on guard on strange planets!   Unexpected things often happened in such places and this place would soon prove itself not an exception.  On our way back, one of us taking samples along the lake edge, we could suddenly feel a rumbling and a strange kind of building of pressure in the ground.  We all stopped and waited and suddenly out of the lake in many places, plumes of super pressurized water shot straight up each pushing high into the air a clump of giant jagged boulders each several times larger than a man. 

Somehow, I ended up fallen down sitting on my butt and all of us had already been slightly scattered.  It was scary but the plumes we were all confined to the lake and we were basically uninjured.  But I was having trouble getting back up.  I realized my long spindly legs felt weak and a heavy pack on my back was weighing my down.  As I sat there trying to gather strength, two large grey beasts larger than elephants emerged from a small amount of water on the left unfenced side of the road.  The creatures looked like triceratops dinosaurs but with multiple sections of hard grey armor curved back over the head and shoulder region and no horns.  One was larger than the other one and they moved together as a pair.  

I knew I could not escape so I decided to remain perfectly still.  Their small rheumy eyes indicated to me likely bad vision and I hoped that lack of movement would lessen the chances of an aggressive response.  Luckily the creatures seemed oblivious by my presence and turned and moved calmly up the road even past some of my coworkers who were also holding still along the sides of the road.

Crisis past, we gathered again and realized we ourselves had actually created the water explosions.  We realized the fence was designed to block accidental dropping of heavy items into the lake but one of my coworkers had unknowingly disturbed the ground enough on that side to trigger the event.  Nerves running higher, we were eager to return.  I soon found myself lunging along a narrow path pushed through tropical plants and grasses.  My gait was a strange kind of sideways angled leaping and landing, as if my legs were half frog, long thing with large feet.  With the huge pack on my thin body, I could only run this way but it was effective.  The others followed behind me and for whatever reason, I have no recollection of having looked directly at the others at any time or what they looked like.   

However, we were surprised on our way back to run into buildings and civilization.  The large rectangle buildings of what looked like cement or stone were dwellings.  Even though eager to get back, we didn't want to pass up this opportunity, I in particular.  We talked with one of the residents and she said her relative would be willing to allow us to access to one of the dwellings.  My coworkers were hesitant but I decided it would be worth the risk and agreed to it.

We entered through andordinary rectangle door and were surprised by the setup.  The first room of the home was ordinary airspace, a nice room but rather dark inside with sparse furnishings.  But all the rooms beyond that were some kind of virtual reality rooms.  A slight shimmer in the air marked the boundaries between real and virtual.  Intrigued, I and one other walked through the virtual rooms.  It all felt completely real except for the slight shimmer and an extra crisp look to the edges of everything, as if one's vision had improved.  Unlike the entry room these rooms were also well lit with lots of grey colors predominating.  Furniture and fashion matched across the virtual rooms.  I spent some time admiring a long low coffee table type piece that looked like many intricate strips of different stained wood had been shaped and then put together. I repeatedly ran my hands over the top of it, feeling the perfect realness of the texture and admiring the realism of the satin shine finish work of the wood.  It seemed perfectly real.

As I walked through the virtual rooms, I was struck by how small they seemed, usually not more than about 13 feet in length or smaller and there were only a few of them, a kitchen area and several others.  I also advised the captain of our group that he should wait in the entry room and allow us other other two to explore the virtual rooms first and then when we were done, we would wait in the entry room and the other two could explore.  The captain's safety was the most important after all.  But I noticed after a while that he had gone off to explore anyway.  Figuring the danger was minimal anyway, I shrugged it off.

After a while I found myself sitting down for a quick interview with the head of the dwelling.  I saw him as a maybe 60 year old Caucasian man with hawkish features and longish slicked back silver hair wearing a well fitted silver jacket/suit ensemble.  Sitting in a chair, he seemed friendly and amiable and I felt relaxed.  We chatted and I began to ask questions.

I asked him who had created all this and he said it was the Five Fiber Gods.  He said he had never met them and it could be that they didn't even exist but that is what they say.  Then he amended that there used to be only 4 Fiber Gods but just recently a fifth one had been added.  I was surprised to hear of the apparent recent alteration to what I had at first assumed was long standing legend only.

So I asked him how does one become a Fiber God and here the difficulties of cross cultural communication became evident as I struggled to understand as best I could.  His style of communication seemed to jump from one idea to the next and that tendency was increased now.  The ideas he communicated were that it had something to do with the brain, that once you were dead that you had no more need of your body so it was just an empty vessel, something about computers or some such, and that he had more chance of eventually meeting the Fiber Gods than anyone else here, an idea he was mildly proud of.   The concepts were fascinating and I struggled to glean what I could.

And then I woke up!  (arg)               
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