I found myself standing in an area where people were discussing a story that seemed to be from a previous dream phase. It was about some people who had bought a computer and it was asking them a bunch of setup questions, none of which they took seriously.
I don't remember exactly what they were filling in. But it was just gags like when it asked them
Date? they were overwriting the MM-DD-YYYY template with responses like
Sure, I'll go out with you. How's Tuesday? It wasn't that, but that was the spirit of the 12 or so configuration questions they were filling in.
Becoming lucid I decided to discuss and explore. I approached one guy who seemed friendly, introduced myself, and shook his hand. We did our introductions, but when I stood near him and he seemingly pivoted to push me backwards. It was like he'd used his forearm against my forehead, and then went from being close to being a bit further away.
guy: "Be careful with proximity."
me: "What happens with proximity? Why does that create an issue? Is this okay."
guy: "You're handling yourself fine."
A second guy approached me.
second guy: "You have too many clothes on. First..."
Somehow he grabbed my leg and threw me through a rectangular arch that looked a bit like a metal detector, but it was white. After being tossed it seemed like that leg of the pants was missing. I tried to recover and turned around to face him.
second guy: "Second..."
He picked up some kind of UPS looking cardboard box and held it as if he was going to throw it at my head. Instead he threw it and it kind of came toward my feet but didn't hit me.
me: "Hey! Stop!"
The first guy seemed to wave him on.
me: "What was the deal with that? Why did he attack me."
An Indian-looking woman at what seemed to be a desk in a low cubicle rolled her eyes.
woman: "Oh, that's just genital Jerry."
I noticed she vaguely resembled someone I went to college with, but was kind of changing size. I offered her my hand and asked her name but she looked suspicious, so I drew the hand back.
woman: (seemingly distracted) "Me llamo..."
She didn't finish her sentence so I thought I'd try asking in Spanish.
me: "como te llamas?"
Either the woman changed into a duck, or a duck walked up on the desk to answer the question for her.
duck: "Me llamo Sheila T."
me: "Er, hola, Sheila T."
Noting that it seemed there were a lot of birds around, I became wary of the desk and turned to go elsewhere. I wandered to an outside area where there seemed to be a waterfront and a bar. People were sitting at long tables.
me: "If you don't mind me asking, WHERE AM I?"
guy: "You're at Frank's."
I looked around and surveyed the area. There was some kind of synthesizer power band playing, and I don't know if it was the mention of it being Frank's that got it to start. I thought I recognized the song, but it sounded a bit like some Van Halen thing. There was a stage set up and it seemed the stage was being used for a boxing match of some kind.
Moving around the bar I wound up back inside. I saw an almost cartoon-looking girl sitting alone in a booth past the bar. She had reddish-blonde hair and a very old-timey looking blue dress on it with white trimming. Considering stopping to ask her a question, she pulled out a cell phone as if to answer it.
I saw another identical looking girl in a booth next to her, not quite from the front. I walked in that direction to look at her and when I did, I could see she had a cell phone up to her face in the direction that had been turned away from me. This process continued down a line of booths and I found it kind of comical.
me: (aloud, to no one in particular) "So the question is: does she always have the cell phone, or is it something that appears as soon as I might see her to try talking to her, so she doesn't have to?"
The series of booths expanded in my point of view to look a bit like the way that images repeat when you point a video camera at a TV. That series of images then collapsed into a painting of the girl on the wall (not holding a cell phone). A voice responded to my question, from somewhere I couldn't identify.
voice: "She is a painting. She is embarrassed that she cannot speak, the phone is a prop to cover for that fact."
I shrugged and kept walking along the wall of the bar. I passed a curtain and was in a very barren hallway that lead to a set of EXIT doors. I decided I was going to go see what was through those doors...but a security guard of some kind had been standing behind the curtain that I noticed was following me.
Rather than stop or panic, I remained calm and kept going. I gave him a wave.
me: (casually) "Er... thanks, it's been fun!"
guard: "Well, it's all right for you to go in there if you go to Mike's. Mike said people from here can drink over there."
Although I'm confident about the "Frank's" name, I don't necessarily remember what the actual name of the place he said it was okay to go to was.
me: "Great, I'll check it out!"
I was trying to play it cool, but actually going to go look at whatever I felt like looking at.
If it isn't already apparent: the idea of there being places called "Mike's" and "Frank's"...with clientele who can't quite remember their name and are ripping your pants...doesn't sound like any kind of authority to me. Rather, it seems a bit analogous to getting a bunch of children drunk and locking them in your mansion with an arcade. That's an accusation launched against Michael Jackson, a musician, in "this universe" (e.g. the one I am "from").)
I opened the exit door and looked around. It was an extremely clean food-court area, like one inside a modern mall. Most of the places looked like they were closed.
The guard yelled at me through the closing door.
guard: "But don't fall asleep in there!"
me: "I'll... um. I'll try not to? From my point of view this is me dreaming, and if I wake up I don't know what happens to the body I'm using here after that."
No response followed from the guard. I looked around at the places to see if they were all food-related and closed. One of them was called "Chopsticks Cafe", I looked at a menu board printed in green-on-white that was advertising potstickers, among other things.
The logos for the stores were bright and some felt familiar, but they seemed closed. The only other person around was a tall and portly man with curly hair and a moustache who walked by. I followed him to see where he was going.
The man stepped up some stairs into a kiosk that seemed to be designed a bit like a giant version of a teacup from the Disney teacup ride. Inside was a sort of slurpee machine with three compartments, and he began inserting some kind of cannisters into them as if he were doing a cleaning process.
Not feeling like the slurpee machine maintenance man was all that interesting, I wandered a little further. I saw what seemed to be an escalator that went up very high to another level with a walkway against the wall. Then I awoke.
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