I was watching a video in which comcrete walls were being knocked down, of what looked like it might be an old mental institution. A blond woman was in the middle of a room in one shot writing on the walls, and there was some kind of narration about the relationship between insanity and artistic creativity. There was music playing but it wasn't a music video... it seemed more like a documentary of some kind.
Feeling I recognized the music, I waited and watched the credits. Written on the screein it said the song was "Twilight Without Shadows" and attributed it to the singer "Poe", who is a blond woman and whose musical style is of that nature.
Walking away from the screen I went to a computer to look up to see if there was a video for the song. When I did, the computer browser was unresponsive because Google Chrome had shut down. The Chrome icon had changed into some sort of blobby pixelated thing that was becoming "tidied" in a radial fashion; it had a percentage number on it reflecting how much of an upgrade installation had progressed.
me: "Well that's some suspicious timing on that upgrade, right when I make a discovery and am about to wake up. Are there any other computers here?"
There weren't any more computers, but there were several TVs on the wall. I made a verbal request, and a very strange video began to play. It had a different tall blond woman on it, who was attractive seemed to be speaking at me through the screen.
me: (pointing at my ears) "I can see you, but I can't hear you."
She got closer to the screen, and I could hear her speak as she did.
tall woman: "So what would you like to do when I get there? We could cook something. I know how to cook, you know how to cook. We could do it together, it would be fun."
me: (confused) "Err... um. Okay?"
tall woman: (to someone off-camera) "I guess it's just the way of it, to have to live one lifetime without a real romantic partner, so you appreciate what you get in the next lifetime."
Somehow she appeared in the room I was in and pushed toward me through a group of people. When she did, she was significantly taller than me; what might correspond to about 7 feet.
me: (surprised) "Wow. You're tall. Okay, I guess that's a stupid thing to say; I tend to hold myself to a higher standard for introductions."
She laughed and we walked away from the group.
me: (hesitantly) "So...now this is strange but maybe you can explain it for me. I saw you on what looked to be like a TV, and at first you were talking and I couldn't hear you, and then I talked back at you, but then I could hear you. And you asked about cooking. I know this might sound strange but I'm wondering if you know if..."
I realized she had vanished. I worried that I had frightened her by talking about something "crazy", but began to realize I was dreaming and was going to wake up. I made a note to look up "Twilight With What Shadows".
That's what the note I took said, but I'm pretty sure the song was "Twilight Without Shadows".
Going back to sleep I found myself walking past a large screen TV in what looked a bit like an airport terminal hallway. Several people were walking past but I was able to somehow select the video "Twilight Without Shadows by Poe".
The video that played was quite strange, and a bit creepy. The theme seemed to be witchcraft and sorcery, with an ordinary looking still-different woman who would turn herself and others into claymation or illustration. Music would periodically stop and turn to either silence while she did some such thing, or a narration. At one point after turning a guy sitting on a bench into a perpetually morphing animation she threatened "I could do this to ALL of you".
At the end of the video was a scroll-like essay that went by, with print too hard for me to read. The woman depicted in the video walked by and looked at the video, seemingly pleased someone was watching it.
me: "So this is your video, and you're claiming to be "Poe"?"
woman: "Yes, correct."
me: "I am from somewhere else. And in that somewhere else, there is someone who goes by "Poe" and this isn't in her list of songs."
woman: "Oh yes, I think I've heard of her. Rebecca-something, isn't it?"
me: "In this case, Annie Danielewski...sister of Mark Danielewski. He's a relatively famous author, wrote "House of Leaves". And...um...something else. Well "Only Revolutions", but it's not as famous. Ever see or hear of those?"
me: "Well, I can try and sing some of her Poe songs. Like "Haunted"."
I did a surprisingly poor job of singing; my voice cracked and I couldn't seem to control it properly. The woman seemed amused, and I kept following her up a stairway.
me: (singing) "And I'm haunnnnted... by the lives that I have loved, and actions I have hated oh oh oh oh... I'm haunted by the promises I've made, and others I have broken I... I'm haunted by the lies that wove the web inside my haunted head."
woman: "I think I know someone who can help you."
We went into an area with a counter that looked a bit like a junk shop. The woman made some introductions and spoke to the guy who came out and had some kind of device that was connected to a meter on the wall, which he wanted to use on me.
me: (nervous) "What does it do?"
man: "It puts energy into you and then measures the multiplier of what it gets back; just basically to find out your phase."
me: "Well okay then."
He touched the device to my tongue and looked at the meter on the wall. It appeared to have two glass mounted on either side, that filled with a radiant light. One side was low, the other was high.
man: "Hmmm... well, 9. That's high. I don't know if you want the bad news."
me: "I'm not sure it gets much worse."
man: "That means you're an apparition."
me: "Which means what, exactly? I mean, I seem to be able to move things around. Am I only moving them in my mind, or do you see the effects too? Can an apparition do this?"
I picked up a bottle off a counter and held it to him.
man: "Yes, they can. But to stabilize you're going to need something like this."
He handed me a small cone-shaped device that could rotate. When he did, things buzzed and I began to vibrate. He stopped me.
man: (to people behind counter) "I need a bag."
me: "Hmmm, so the bag does... what? Do you put your hand in the bag?"
man: (confused) "Um, no. It's a bag, to put in, when you buy it."
me: "Perhaps I haven't been clear. I wind up in random places, I have no idea where I am right now. The people in the world where I'm from do not believe any of this is real. In fact they will treat you as ill to report it. Many people have been locked up and tortured due to a lack of verifiability. I do not have any money."
The man got grumpy and took the device back and went behind the counter, and began doing some organization of the other goods behind it.
me: "Do you know what I'm talking about? Do you believe me, that this place where I'm from exists, that they do not believe you exist."
man: "Of course they exist. What business of mine is it what they believe?"
me: "Well if I can't motivate your assistance out of sympathy, there are other motivations. If you help me it could open a great doorway to trade...if it's purely money that motivates you, you could make a great deal of it that way I'm sure. Let's say you give me whatever I need to come back here at will--if it's that gadget so be it. You've ostensibly got more of those gadgets, if I didn't come back you could presumably come after me and get it. I'm good for it, really. And if it doesn't work, it doesn't work and it was a defective product so who cares what happens to it."
He looked at me skeptically and picked up a phone.
man: "Hmmm. Maybe. All right, what's your extension?"
I thought about whether to give him my Google Voice # or my mobile #. I began it with 206, and he started dialing.
I had the area code wrong. That's a Seattle area code; I haven't had one of those since 2003. Both my numbers are 323 LA exchanges. But I had the rest of the digits lined up to be correct.
me: "Wait, that's only the area code. It's 3 digits, then there is 3 digits for an exchange, then 4 more digits."
man: (hanging up) "I don't mean your number there. I mean your number here."
me: "Clearly we're not communicating well. I don't have a number here, I don't know how I showed up here, the only things I know are things from "there"."
He seemed to lose interest in me and was dealing with other customers. I tried to look for the item to just grab it and see if I could use it and make off with it, but I couldn't find it. I walked away.
me: (frustrated) "Perhaps we will cross paths again at some point."
man: (smirking) "See you then."
I walked toward a lounge area where a woman with long curly hair was sitting. I had a seat next to her and sighed.
curly haired woman: "Spare your breath! Don't start your story over again, already heard it."
me: "Gah, what am I supposed to do?"
curly haired woman: "Have you thought about what you're doing for yourself lately? You should do something. Maybe go see a Bureaucats show."
I'm pretty sure she said "Bureaucats" and intended it as a band. There are a few bands with that name, none famous.
me: "So you're in touch with music that I am able to see? You're aware of my waking world, too? Would you know of...Muse for instance?"
curly haired woman: "We know things by their essences, not generally by the names you use."
Once again I tried to sing, this time the stuttered vocoded opening to Muse's Madness.
me: (singing) "Mmmmm m m m mmmmm mmmm mad mad. Mmmmm m m m mad ness. And I... have finally found..."
curly haired woman: (singing) "What you neeed!"
me: "Right! So what exactly is going on?"
curly haired woman: "I model the environment you have grown up in--what you have called "home"--as something like photographs, taking photographs, of photographs. If you really want to get to the bottom of things, then it's time to get out your purple pen and go after your mom."
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