Some email addresses I'd used were up on the screen. A man who looked a bit like Mr. Sulu from Star Trek was looking through some files on another computer, seemingly old posts on the internet.
"Sulu": (mumbling) "Okay, that explains that comment. I wasn't clear on what that meant before."
He handed me something in a bowl, and began to speak:
"Sulu": "There is something you need to understand about showing people Future Things. You have to be careful. It's a lot like if you are dealing with someone who has never had a grape before. When you give them their first grape you must be 100% sure it's not a sour one...because if it is sour, then every time they're asked if they want a grape after that they will say no."
He pointed me toward an older German-looking man standing at the desk of a library, who was wearing a name card around his neck that said DATA MANAGER.
me: (jokingly) "Hi. I'm some data, I need to be managed."
manager: (amused) "If you are data, then where is your method?"
me: "My method is perhaps lost in my madness."
Because I got the impression that he was smart, I decided to abandon my quest to go elsewhere and just talk to him.
me: "Have you heard of schizophrenia? Or lucid dreaming? Do you know what it means when I say 'I am asleep somewhere'? From my point of view, I entered your world moments ago and will wake up shortly in my own reality."
manager: "You are confused because you try to model that these things are happening in a simple sequence. You have a constructed idea of linear time, and it isn't *actually* working like that."
me: "Can you explain to me how time *actually* works then? It would be great if I could take some testable information back. Some kind of scientific breakthrough would be very helpful if I were to make it on the basis of talking to you."
manager: "That will be difficult to express in your... what you call... 'Facet Logic'."
me: (confused) "Facet logic?"
manager: "Umm... I need to translate..."
His accent got heavier, and he paused.
manager: "The 'physics'?"
me: "There's no speakers and no mixer. I don't see how volume of the waveform I'm getting in my head can be controlled. How is the audio stream being represented? What's the limit of how loud it can get before it can't get louder, and it clips?"
man: (waving his hands) "No, no. There's no limits like that."
me: (skeptically) "Then I don't see how this can possibly be working. Whether carried in a sound wave or not, all information needs to be transmitted though a substrate."
man: "No it doesn't. It's not analog, it's not digital, you can't really think of it that way."
me: (frustrated) "There's got to be some way you can explain this to me. I've heard this not-analog-not-digital argument before, but it's just makes no sense. Where is the darn stuff STORED?!?"
He paused to choose his answer carefully.
man: "In our expanding minds."
I ran into a couple talking about someone who wasn't in the room. I understood them to be speaking about a person in the material world.
girl: "She's probably taking a bath right now."
me: "Ok. So how are you connected with this person?"
girl: "We're married. Every spirit is married with a body."
me: "So you're married to a body...but, you've got some kind of body here too. Who's YOUR spirit?"
girl: "There is another spirit above me, and a spirit above them..."
me: "Ok great. So what the heck am I? I mean, do I have a spirit, or am I the spirit? Because I don't remember this place too well...am I passed out on the floor 99% of the time? And why is it I seem to be the only one of us who can relay information back and forth? Is my spirit anything special or powerful or do I have badass friends?"
Suddenly a copy of a Dave Gahan album titled Overconfident appeared on the bed. No such album exists AFAIK.
couple: "He's your brother."
me: "You mean, spirit brother?"
me: "Last night, let's see, um...today is Saturday so that would have been Friday. The, uh, 20 somethingth. Look, what I'm doing is difficult and you should be impressed. Though the accuracy of what I'm saying should be questioned."
I looked Dave straight in the eye.
me: (exaggeratedly) "I'm. Asleep. Y'know."
Dave Foley's face was now very strange, with black eyes and a hat, and deformed a bit like Freddy Krueger, though less scary. My staring proceeded.
"Dave": (equally exaggerated) "Yes. We. Know. In. Fact. We. Are. Not. Supposed. To. Talk. To. You."
me: "Why not?"
"Dave": "Firstly, because of the fact that you all are drugged and basically unaware of the forces of evil—it's considered a bad idea. Secondly, there are certain biases which exist in the community."
He lowered his voice and whispered.
"Dave": "...and there actually are some lawsuits going on right now."
He guided me through various hallways that were full of people, and occasionally they would wave. One pretty girl seemed to take notice that I was looking at her.
pretty girl: (beaming) "Hi there!"
I smiled back but tried to keep pace with the guide. He stopped at a closet and gathered some items, it said "J.K. Rowling" on the door.
me: "Wait, that name...that's the author who wrote the Harry Potter series?"
guide: "That's correct."
me: "I've not read any of the books but they are popular where I am from. The author is depicted as an English woman. Why are you taking things out of her closet? Do you feel this identity is yours, hers, stolen, shared?"
guide: (shrugging) "You should re-evaluate the question of if there's any such thing as truth or not. I'd argue that truth is more about knowing what makes a 'good' lie, and what makes a 'bad' one."