Dreamed 1995/3/29 by Chris Wayan
In the future. A long dream, but all I remember is sleeping in a cybernetic bed--"cybed" for short. Everyone has them. I feel stupid because I don't really understand mine. Cybeds seem to pick up images from your dreams and amp them up, creating hundreds, even thousands of images, in strange "associational sheaves" (so the box says). Possibilities unfold like fans, or hands of cards. A cybed can make extravaganzas out of the simplest core images.
A prosthetic imagination?
I'm out to solve a mystery, and the answer appears in my dream. But the bed elaborates it into one of its over-ripe extravaganzas. I need to collapse the fans back down to their basic core images to get my original dream-message. But I find it very hard. Only get it down to dozens--triplets, sextuplets... But then, I'm new to this technology, don't know what I'm doing. The average person of this era no doubt does this without even thinking.
I tell someone about my dilemma and he laughs "NO ONE understands cybeds! Not even their programmers can predict the crazy stuff they do! We just LIKE them! We USE them, we don't CONTROL them!" He's amazed I got it to focus down to dozens: quite an achievement. I'm still frustrated--the machine feels like a robust animal, familiar and friendly, on the verge of giving me just what I need--and I don't think that's illusion. I just don't understand the basic theory. What ARE all these images? How are they generated? How and why do they fan out like that? I think all I want is to limit the associations, stop the proliferation, have the machine record the original dream with just the basic layer of associations to the day's events.
But there's no owner's manual! It's not lost--it never had one. The guy's right--the manufacturers have given up even pretending consumers will ever program a cybed. Just plug it in and let it free-associate.
But I have to. Or it'll overwhelm me with unnecessary elaborations. My own thoughts are inherently complex enough, thank you! I never ASKED for a prosthetic imagination--it just gets in the way like unneeded crutches.
The dream suggests the "default settings" for the average mind in this society are wrong for me. Euro-American culture does see dreams as a mishmash of images and associations beyond the average person's grasp. But I'm on the verge of bringing it all into focus! I need to manually adjust a process that others need not mess with.
I had therapy today. Shelley thought it was a sluggish session, but my dreams disagree. I'll send this dream-review to her! But she'll need time to ponder this before the next session, so I better mail this off to Shelley early. Surely. By whirly burly girlie. Ah, you think these are but childish rhymes, but this is San Francisco, and I shall send my dream by Sufi-dancing lesbian lumberjack, spinning across town, letter in hand... "Faster than the U.S. Male" as Elvis never sang... and my associational image-sheaf fans on out! Phooey. It's just the fever. Were it Madness Divine, I could but quaff the more; were it bipolar mania I'd slip it a lithium. But it's the flu. Nothing to do, nothing to do, but fluid and time and sing the blue.
Blues. Sorry. It's just the bed talking.
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