I was following a number of people in strange suits covered with various wounds from playing some kind of tactical war game. The game was over and they were sort of returning to a computer lab.
me: "I'm unsure what these terminals are for, or how they work."
guy: "Look, this slot is where you put your ID cards. Three of the machines have headphone jacks and microphones, so you can use those machines to make phone calls. It's only 5 cents a minute, instead of 55 cents a minute at the payphone."
me: "55 cents a minute is rather expensive. For that matter, 5 cents a minute isn't that cheap either. VOIP phones should be free."
Sometimes I get freaked out by these alternate universes and how lousy and expensive their technology is, because my expectations are higher. Then again, our average Kinko's charges 25 cents a minute to use a terribly slow Windows machine...you are racking up charges as it loads up, even. The browsers are set to Kinko's slow homepage, and when you fire up IE you're sitting there for about 30 seconds before you can enter the URL for your email.
me: "Look, I'll level with you for why I'm so clueless about these machines. I'm not really here, I'm asleep in bed. In fact...that raises a good question...who am I right now?"
I pulled out my wallet and looked at the ID inside of it. It was for some red-haired guy named Alex.
me: "Nope, I'm not him. Anyway, sorry."
The guy shook his head and looked away.
guy: "They're going...to take over...the world."
me: "Who, me? Well, maybe I'm taking over the world, or maybe I'm one of the people getting taken over by the things that are going to take over the world. Not sure."
guy: "Don't you miss being who you actually ARE?"
me: "I miss who I was. But I sure don't miss who I am now, and I'd trade with practically anybody--so long as it wasn't too painful."
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