I was traveling slowly on some kind of conveyor (or maybe just walking?) past several staged areas, separated from each other. Costumed people were in each area...themed differently, and playing instruments.
It was a bit like walking by sections in a zoo like in the Sheryl Crow video for "If it makes you happy"
I might compare to the experience of drifting along on the Disney "It's a small world" ride, or something like that.
The music and scenes were entertaining to me. As I became lucid I decided I wanted to go back around and see it all from the start. So as I reached the end of the line of stages, I turned and started backtracking along the path on the backside. Some people followed me out from the stages.
me: (laughing) "Well, come on. It's not every day you get to make music and environments by engaging a feedback loop in your mind!"
actor guy: (puzzled) "What?"
me: "I mean, have fun with it. Why not. Sky's the limit, everyone get naked!"
actor guy: (worried) "We... we can't do that. Maybe a bigger theater could get away with it and call it "avant-garde". But we're small."
me: "Well, just an example. See, for me, this is what I'd call a "dream". I'm asleep in... let's see. It's February of... February of 2014. Actually I just had to fill out the date on a form at the DMV, so I even know what day: it's the 25th."
I'm pretty sure I got this one right. Usually I don't know what day it is, even if you ask me while I'm awake.
actor guy: "I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by that."
I noticed that the path I was taking did not lead me back to the row of stages. Rather, I ended up in something that looked like a break room, or teacher's lounge kind of place. There was a coffee pot on a table against a wall, along with a carton of soda and things like donuts.
None of the people in the environment struck my interest (no attractive women, just sort of groups looking at papers and having what looked like meetings). I decided to be calm and turn my attention to inspecting things.
I picked up a magazine and read what was some kind of ad, for a product that was targeted at men. It was hard to figure out what they were selling at first, because it had fairly general pictures and language like what you might expect from something like a Gilette razor ad. However, I was able to focus and grasp that it was actually selling square-shaped nutrition snack bars... with a vitamin balance tailored specifically to men. There were pictures of the snack bar in its entirety, and cutaway diagrams showing the inside.
The next thing I looked at was the carton of sodas. It was a long rectangular shape like you would usually see, except it was a variety pack. Looking at the pictures on the outside of the box, I noticed that the Pepsi can didn't have red or blue on it... but was silver with yellow and green, so it was more like Sprite.
me: (to room) "Hey, is this one of those places with the soda hack? Do you guys know what Coca-Cola is?"
I was referencing the dream "Hacking the Soda Factory", in which someone ostensibly went to great lengths to get me an unfilled soda can.
My general suspicions about this kind of thing is that--in a virtual world which was inhabited by humans did not know about something like soda--it would be one of those relatively easy things to step in and deploy. The large amount of existing advertising and marketing is a sort of goldmine to draw from.
As the saying goes, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." Though generally, it's not specifically you they're out to get... you just fit in a category of everyone they're trying to screw over. I don't really need to invoke person supernatural experiences for evidence of that! Read the newspaper.
No one answered me, and I turned back to the box. I noticed that the Diet Pepsi had red and blue markings on it, even though the regular Pepsi did not. Feeling like I might as well try something, I grabbed the Diet Pepsi and tried to drink it. When I did, I had a feeling that was a lot more similar to having some kind of misty spray hitting my mouth area than drinking; it was kind of foamy. But when I looked at the can I noticed that it had residual soda on the lip, as you would expect.
The experience of drinking the soda didn't change, but I went ahead and finished it until the can was empty. I walked forward and saw someone who seemed like a janitor pushing a cart. I stopped him and held the can up to him.
me: "Hey. This can seems to be aluminum. Do you have...recycling?"
janitor: "Yes, but that can is not recycleable."
me: "Well, aluminum is pretty much the most valuable and easy to recycle substance there is."
janitor: (frowning) "You're making that statement on what basis of fact? Societies live with a fraction of the total knowledge of what is possible, and that knowledge is always subject to changes that overturn the worldview. Maybe substances you think are hard to recycle are actually relatively easy with a technical breakthrough...and when seen in that new light, you'd be putting those substances in the recycle bin and the aluminum in the trash to process later."
me: "While the majority of people in dreams say very little interesting, you raise a good point. Thanks for that. But what should I do with the can?"
He indicated where I should take the can. When I did, I saw some rooms with windows and light that seemed to exit to the outside, and decided I'd go outside and look back to see what kind of building I'd been in.
The building seemed to be a bit of a standalone beige structure in a grassy, brightly lit area--possibly made out of some kind of stone or marble. There was writing on the structure above the entrance in brown scripty text that was hard for me to focus on well enough to read, but it was some kind of memorial theater. No parking lots or sidewalks surrounded it...just grass.
I walked away and toward another structure that was similar, but I think it indicated it was a library. It had some plaques out front with two metal engravings, and one of them was made out to me and my accomplishments. I noticed the plaque was hanging on a peg so it could be removed, so I took it off the peg to examine it closer.
When I flipped the plaque over to examine the back (which was unmarked), and then flipped it back to the front, it had changed to some other message. It seemed stable until I would flip it, which I did again--each time I flipped it back it would change. There was some kind of dialogue going on I don't exactly recall until one time I flipped it and the back was no longer blank stone as expected but was a translucent piece of paper.
plaque: (written) "Weren't expecting that, were you? I was able to splice into the generator code. Now I can produce as many copies as I want..."
The back of the plaque slid off as a piece of paper and revealed another. What was underneath was some kind of advertisement or promotion, advertising a discount at a furniture store. I wanted to take the plaque to show someone, so I went into the library. But the plaque became more pathological, sloughing off ads everywhere.
I found a large bin and just tossed it into the bin. A guy who might have been dressed as a mailman or similar complained to me.
mailman: "Hey you can't put that in there, that's people's mail!"
It was unclear if he was trying to defend that the ads were supposed to be delivered to someone and disposing it was bad, or if the bin contained mail and throwing a pathological spam generating plaque into it was bad.
me: "Oh. Sorry. Well, one thing I think is that if you find a plaque dedicated to your accomplishments in a place where you don't know why you're there or who you are... it might not be the best idea to pick it up."
mailman: "That much you've got right."
me: "Kind of the classic baiting technique, isn't it? Subject lines of mail with some kind of flattery. There was a virus and all it said was "I love you" and people opened it."
That bit is true. The ILOVEYOU virus is estimated to have caused US $5.5-8.7 billion in damage worldwide, and cost the US $15 billion to remove the worm.
The environment didn't seem to be so much a library as just an open hallway. I heard a knock at a door marked "emergency exit only". I'd have probably gone out it anyway, but the knock provoked me to open it. When I did, a man with one cyclops eye came in and grabbed me...he wouldn't let go, and it hurt...he began pushing me toward the center of the room.
me: "Hey, let go! I opened the door for you, that's not exactly gratitude. If you want to attack someone there's lots of other people here, look around! Why me?"
Going to have to admit it's not my proudest moment to be suggesting attack them, not me. But I have to admit I'm getting to that point with this crap. Put yourself in my shoes, here.
I noticed the cyclops looked a bit like Kevin Spacey. At times his eye would split into two, and then refuse back into one for the next look at him.
cyclops: (in a singsong voice) "Oh everyone loves the skeleton man -- such a friendly man is the skeleton man -- with his head so round..."
He held up my hand and began to pinch it tightly as if to sever my fingers off in front of the crowd, who seemed agitated by his presence.
Currently I am experimenting with using Disqus for comments, however it is configured that you don't have to log in or tie it to an account. Simply check the "I'd rather post as a guest" button after clicking in the spot to type in a name.
The accounts written here are as true as I can manage. While the
words are my own, they are not independent creative works of fiction
—in any intentional way. Thus I do not consider the material to
be protected by anything, other than that you'd have to be
crazy to want to try and use it for genuine purposes (much less
disingenuous ones!) But who's to say?