Waking dreams


I dreamed about “Bob” this morning.

I was in a building in the sim world, sitting at a small table (perhaps I was in a cafe?) on a balcony overlooking a small public square of some kind. To my left was a charming four storey residential building, but the unit in the bottom corner stood out – it hadn’t been themed yet and so just had the default white-and grey generic-modern-apartment theme.

The guy who bought it was experiencing severe sticker-shock. This smallish corner of the sim world had cost him a million bucks. His contract, which he had been assured was a fair and reasonable one, on closer inspection turned out to be from beginning to end slanted to benefit the lawyers. His “retainer” was worthless. It turned out that his retainer retained nothing, and the lawyers charged a thousand bucks for every fifteen minutes.

Down in the square below me, he was arguing with a group of young arabs – young billionaires dressed in expensive grey suit pants, sunglasses, and leather jackets – but not cowboy boots, which I found odd because that’s what rich young arabs wear. The young arabs didn’t want the millionaire living in their neighbourhood. Turns out that part of his contract stipulates that in order to build in New Morocco he must use an appropriate texture pack to fit the theme of the neighbourhood, and the New Morocco texture pack cost a million bucks – as much as he had paid for the apartment itself. That’s just the basic pack, mind you. Every lampshade, every pot plant, every light switch, was additional thousands of dollars.

One guy, it seemed, had attempted to dodge this in the past by designing his own texture pack – from scratch – to fit in with the neighbourhood. It was so good that the company sued him for copyright and won, even though that sort of thing is nothing to do with what copyright is supposed to protect. The millionaire was realising that he had been comprehensively scammed. His money was lost and he would be forced to move into the bad part of sim town, with all the cheap apartments with their crap default grey textures. And there was nothing much he could do.

Upstairs in the balcony, sitting opposite me was a man. I didn’t know who he was. His appearance and manner – he was Christopher Walken, although I did not realise that in the dream. I didn’t know his status, I was apprehensive, I didn’t want to say anything. But then he simply commented – looking out onto the argument below – “How like “Bob”!”. And I understood.

The whole sim world was one of “Bob”’s many, many scams. Down there millionaires and billionaires were fighting over bytes on a server somewhere – the millionaire being treated like bottom-of-the-barrel scum; while outside in the real world there were hordes of the genuinely poor and the just-struggling-along, who could never even dream of setting up home in the sim world, who could barely afford their weekly grocery bill. My sympathy was all misplaced – served that bastard right. Served ’em all right.

(An interlude. I was – somewhere – standing next to, standing far too close to – some TV preacher. On TV he was all charm and compassion, but up close you could see that he had murderers eyes. The more you looked in his face, the clearer it became. I felt unsafe. I wanted one of those riot shields that the police have, to put between us.)

I moved on from my dream. It had been a really cool dream – one of those uncommon ones with a clear beginning, middle, and end. I wanted to write it down, to record it and put it on my blog. I was in the sim world, and commenced to write on my tablet. It was outside, daytime, crowded, packed with bodies like a nightclub.

I began my post, “I dreamed about “Bob” this morning”. My tablet ran out of room and so I began to write on paper – illegible scrawl in blue ink. My girlfriend had wandered off to find a toilet. There was a fad, a fashion in the sim world at the moment: someone would call out “Stop!” and everyone would freeze. I sort of tried to participate, but I didn’t freeze as well as everyone else. And anyway – I wanted to get my dream down before it faded. Already I was forgetting details.

And at some point I rolled over in bed, and the motion-sensor in my phone decided to play my alarm: “Sweat” by C+C Music Factory. “Everybody dance now”. I rose and wrote this.

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