I was walking around an area of storefronts, and had a sense of urgency for some reason about not staying out on in the open where I could be seen. The stores had wooden doors with glass windows, and seemed to bear familiar logos on the glass like "Red Lobster". But they were papers or other things kind of obscuring the readability of exactly what kind of store it was.
For whatever reason, I decided to duck into the Red Lobster. It didn't look anything like a Red Lobster chain restaurant, but rather a house with several rooms that had low restaurant booths installed into it. A very few people were in the room that the door opened directly to, and as I peeked around to the other rooms.
me: (aloud) "This... doesn't appear to be a Red Lobster. It looks like someone's house. But if they turned a house into a Red Lobster, that's pretty cool. Hello?"
No one responded me and I became concerned that I was misinterpreting that it was a restaurant and had just opened a door to someone's house. I backed out the door, noted some other sign for an 'oyster bar' and wondered what the deal was...perhaps I should have kept looking to find the bar?
Turning to the next door I opened it, walking up some wooden steps...and was followed in by a couple of boisterous older men with country accents.
country man: "Be careful on those steps there, they're unstable!"
The steps indeed seemed to be unstable as I stepped, nearly collapsing. I tried to get up them as fast as possible.
country man: "Oh, and watch your head!"
Right after he said that I bumped my head on a wooden bar which was way under clearance for walking distance, at the top of the stairs.
me: "Ouch! This place is dangerous!"
country man: (laughing) "Well, you never know what you'll run into in a strange place like Tango."
As I continued with them forward, I noticed that it seemed to be a store with clothing racks; at first making an impression on me as being something like an Urban Outfitters.
My assumption at the time was that "Tango" was the name of the store.
The new path that we were on did seem to have clothing racks, yet at the same time it was a narrow and high-up path above everything else in the store. It was also very shaky, and couldn't hold the weight of me and those following me. It seemed our path actually comprised the top of tall shelving units, that had lots of items on them.
me: (clinging for security) "This is ridiculous, to have a door that goes onto the shelving. I can barely hold on, but what if someone were to wander in here drunk? They'd fall off immediately!"
I didn't get an answer, and instead had to guide the shelving unit I was on to fall so its top edge landed gently onto a display bed that seemed to be conveniently sitting there. There seemed to be no items on the shelf. So I tried to lift it back up, but some parts fell off.
While scuffling around with the parts trying to put the shelf back together and undo the damage, I became lucid and wandered up to a salesgirl. She had kind of curly blond hair and was wearing blue jeans.
me: "You know...the funny thing about dreams?"
salesgirl: (guiding me to a music display) "Well we have lots of songs about dreams here, let's bring some up."
The display had racks of albums a bit larger than CDs on it, but their covers seemed to be all digital. They could be changed, so that when she would bring up a song, all the covers would switch from being static to being an animation for the song that was playing.
She skipped through a few songs. Feeling this was a distraction, I kind of waved or indicated that I wasn't really interested. So she stopped it and picked up a small portable player off of a table of electronics. Itt was about the size of an old Sony walkman but with a digital display and speakers on it.
salesgirl: "Well maybe this will be more to your tastes. It's by a band I used to listen to called the Qwicks. I mean, the Qix."
I couldn't hear what she was playing at first, but she brought it close to me.
I did like the music, and remembered it after I woke up, so I should have hummed it as a recording.
me: "Yes, that's pretty good. But I wasn't really talking about music about dreams, I was going to talk about how people act in dreams. Doing tasks unquestioningly, despite them being silly."
I tried to back away from her contact to me with the music device, but as I backed up she kept stepping forward and holding it against me...looking me in the eyes very closely. Eventually she had backed me up against a wall in the store, where we sat down close together and touching.
me: "Earlier I walked in a door and onto a shelf that got knocked over, and nobody seemed to notice. Then I started talking to you, and now here we have had an odd walk off with a product across the middle of the store. Now we're sitting on the floor and no one is taking notice of that either--why not?"
salesgirl: "These come from captured experiences, being rewritten to have you in them. Whether you are noticed depends on if you want that to be part of the rewrite or not."
The room started to become more crowded, as if we were going to be suffocated if we didn't pick a path out.
me: (pulling her up) "Uh oh, looks like we have to go somewhere more open."
I tried to go out the door of the store, but an young and angry-seeming dark-skinned man intercepted us and seemed to prevent us from going out of the store together. In order to follow them I had to cross a sort of hovering gray holographic line. It was translucent with an animation running across it, with a graphic or message I could not read.
Similar animations have been used to depict a "zone crossing" in video games, though I can't think of one offhand.
Having crossed the line landed me in what looked a bit like an airport terminal drop-off, and I couldn't find the girl again.
I had the perception as I searched after crossing the line that if you crossed one of these zones, it would mean that you'd wind up shifting into a different appearance in the new zone. While you might have a continuous experience, anyone you were talking to would have to essentially "find you again". So the salesgirl wouldn't be able to maintain her appearance to be found--rather we'd have to have some convention for finding each other.
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