The people I know do not care to hear about my dreams. What a waste because they’re so colorful. They have bad attitudes about dreams and suggest I just shut up. Senseless, and of no value at all. Therefore I’ll inflict it on you. Skip if you like, I don’t care.
Last night I dreamt that a small group of us visited the future.
The guide there was friend of a friend, an elderly man, unassuming, quiet and noticeably mild mannered. He handed me a key to his SUV for me to open a passenger door to load it with our packed bags. The key was odd, similar to MagSafe power cord connection except with two tiny short metal dowels of different widths that fit just so. It didn’t work. Nothing happened. Another person took the key from my hands and tried. Frustrated he pushed the key so hard that the vehicle rocked but still nothing happened.
I said, “maybe it IS unlocked. Try the handle.” The door opened. The lock made no sound, no click, no feedback at all that the door is locked or unlocked. Rather like Apple, design so subtle that there is nothing at all to go by.
Now, by that vehicle we’re in the future we’re driving around and the architecture we study as we pass is all similarly bland. The art all over the place uninspired and derived. My attention is drawn to a large white lion carved in tremendous detail from a single block of unveined marble. It sits in front of a plain building, the most interesting thing around. I ask, “What is that building?” I’m answered, “the city’s museum. Actually, the most interesting thing is outside."
“Where are we going? “
“To a theater for you to see future entertainment.”
Now, all the people filing into the building then into the room are homogenous. There are no separate races. This is how everyone knows that we’re visiting from the past. They’re all dressed plainly, plain block of light fabric rather dull colors. Nobody is wearing anything unique or interesting. No patterned fabrics.
The security is serious amounting to everyone passing barefooted over a sliding surface. I want to slide like a skater but the surface forces smoothly slow movement. It’s okay to wear socks but not shoes. There is a tray available with dry material inside a powder to assist with the sliding. The aim is to eliminate footprints from body moisture. A bad thing for people to leave behind. For some reason that is their taboo. I thought the powder would help slide, I wanted some fun, but instead it inhibited sliding even more.
The whole place is little more than taboo. The entire city is a very long list of taboos that the population has internalized. Everything individual in behavior is taboo. The whole thing self-governing with taboos against personal offense their single and gravest concern is that nobody can be offended. Not ever. Any variation sticks out and makes you target for chiding. All the citizens naturally chide any deviation from their incredibly long list of social taboos. And that is what make the theater interesting. There was no film, no video, we weren’t there for Hollywood sight and sound, rather the entire experience is one mild taboo challenge after another. They go there to be challenged. But just so.
The seating was purposefully uncomfortable. All new and spotlessly clean, no food, no refreshments, just slightly uncomfortable seating. The seating is part of the show, vibrations, some mild movement, electric pulses, mood changes.
“They spit on us!” Someone nearby truly alarmed, “Can you feel that? They’re spitting on us!”
The theater sprayed tiny drops of water on the audience blown at us from an angle and measured precisely to annoy and unsettle. This pleasant faint mist was an alarming thrill for the theater goers of the future.
Then child-sized attendants appeared before each guest. Dressed in red onesie costumes they preformed cute antics as puppies do to get attention. I reached forward and tickled the one directly in front of me as you tickle your dog’s ears. That too is taboo. "Don’t touch! Don't do that." Don’t ever touch another. My behavior shocked nearby guests and they all told me to knock it off.
How low class. Honestly, go back to your own time. And do this sooner than later. They seem smug in leaping to chide me. They know themselves better and far more refined than their awful unruly past, and me a regretful reminder.
I looked over my shoulder and noticed a woman signing to the person sitting next to her. I eavesdropped. Another broken taboo, I’m not supposed to look around nor engage a party not my own. She was friendly and knew by my un-amalgamated race that I come from the past. She signed directly to me:
* Deaf you?
* How know sign you?
From this height to this height (increased height)
And that was the most interesting person I met in the future. Everyone else is a complete dud. It was taboo to speak to a stranger like that, but she did. She was different that way from all the others. People around her chided her for engaging me. She dismissed them.
The theater show went on with uninteresting displays of mildly taboo breaking. It ended, we departed, returned to non-feedback door locking SUV, all of us with a new understanding about how regimented and tacit-law abiding our future is, and we all understood better the personality of the quiet and unassuming and meek guide who prefers being here in the challenging and outrageous past, more observing than participating, but still a lot more interesting.
I woke up, pleased that I'm born in my appropriate time.