I was walking through a building with a friend (who taught me some photography in waking life). We were going through an area that seemed to be in something that had the feel of a food court in one area, but then a wall of computer server racks in the other. I had my Nikon D80 camera in my hand.
friend: (pointing to a server rack) "You want to get picture of that."
There was something off about the way the racks were arranged, like they would fold or somehow get to where you could only see into them from some angles. It was kind of like there was some sort of warping of the dimensions.
friend: "Yes, these are the red matrix units. Those two...the older and the newer. You've got to be careful with these, people will steal them. Someone will show up one day saying they're here to do something else, but you turn your back and they'll have taken them...just these kind."
I took the camera to try and get a picture. I snapped it, was fuzzy. Turned the camera sideways to try and capture the verticalness of the rack in case I wasn't getting quite all of them.
There seemed to be trouble with the camera having sand on it. As I opened it, I noticed it had more and more sand and other things came out...like lima beans. Trying not to make a mess on the floor I stopped to scoop the sand and lima beans into a paper bag.
I noticed he was standing by a rack (or locker of some kind) smoking, watching me.
me: "Given that I've emptied more sand out of this camera by far than the lens or the camera would hold, and that it was full of lima beans...I'll surmise that I'm dreaming."
me: "All right. What is happening and what am I supposed to do? How is this going on?"
friend: "I studied and researched for years before I figured it out. I can tell you but not here in the building...we have to go to the forest."
I followed him, leaving the camera behind. We walked down a hall and a guy spotted us and seemed to want to attack me. But my friend grabbed him and started doing a pinching style attack on him, which seemed like what people do to me. I joined in and tried tickling him and pinching-and-twisting.
attacker: "That might have worked on me decades ago, but you're going to need something stronger now!"
Someone approached and handed my friend a needle in a tray or box. The box contained directions with diagrams, and a kind of 3-step process for use. (e.g. "if you notice your friend is..." ... "then do....")
Once we'd gotten past that guy, we walked into an area that seemed to have folding tables or something that had been arranged in a maze-like structure. On the tables were trays of random items like glasses. My friend had somewhere picked up a white doctor-style jacket while I was not.
I had trouble following him toward an exit door, but managed to get out. I could hear a voice speaking about me.
observer one: "Look at him, the way he's walking. Like a dream. As if he will be carried forward by the sheer will of wanting to move, instead of stepping properly."
observer two: "Don't worry about it, someone will see him and pick him up."
Getting outside through the glass doors I lost track of the friend I was following, and saw some territory that seemed very familiar. It seemed like a waterfront town with crowds. I crossed a street.
The next thing I knew I was reading some writing on red and yellow CD-DVD discs. They had a simple playing card logo of hearts/clubs/spades/diamonds. The red ones said stuff like "If you wish to exit the system, you can download your personal data in JSON format...", suggesting to be able to opt-out of something at any time.
The yellow discs had been stacked on top of the red discs, and I stopped to read a notice:
Previously there was an option to remove your data from the system. We no longer offer this option because the Matrix4 has become too dependent on the data to run. All bridge players are now human players, there is no known fix.
My attention switched to find my location next to a series where very large woman who seemed dressed as some kind of police officer was answering a question from a girl.
girl: (druggedly) "Will... will I get... my own cell?"
officer: "Yes. You will get your own cell."
She handed me a food plate. It was some kind of round pasta with a red sauce on it, along with more pasta that seemed like macaroni with yellow sauce. I took a bite and it was bland (I'm always curious about what food will taste like in dream situations).
me: "Cells? May I ask what my charges are."
officer: "Being publicly disheveled; your hair is messy and your clothes do not look well on you."
me: "It's illegal to have messy hair, here?"
officer: "Also you are very short."
me: "Short? You can't criminalize something a person can't change."
officer: "You can change it. Have you considered stretching yourself out, having it done?"
me: "No. This is ridiculous. You're telling me that being short is a crime. I'm not really sure what to say to that. I also don't consider myself particularly short."
I tried to follow her and woke up.
I am 5'10, average where I am from for white males.
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