‘The future’

I am in the future again. This time I am I being dragged around ‘the sights’ by a guide who it not very communicative. In fact, he doesn’t tell me anything at all, doesn’t answer any of my questions. Nevertheless I do appear to have complete access to his house and life. He is always around. There are always other people—all of whom are equally unhelpful. I wonder why. There is no doubt they still go out in the same way that people used to go out for a good time, except that that it doesn’t look like they are having a very good time these days. For a start, everyone is wearing white. Not only is everyone dressed in white, the dominant color choice for decor is also white. In the absence of talking and laughter, there does not seem to be much point in drinking or eating. The meeting places are lounges with long tables and sofas where people sit together for hours on end. It is not really clear to me what they are exchanging, if not words or conversation, but there is little talking being done. One afternoon, my guide is working on some papers at his computer. He hands me a pair of glasses, like a band of metal. At one end there are the letters “GLASS REC JON:” which is followed by a string of letters and numbers. I put the glasses on my head and, after a little while trying to adjust it, the image on the glasses has cut off what I would normally see through my eyes, and I can hear a drum beat through little speakers near my ears. Most troubling, though, is that I am thinking thoughts that are not mine and I know they are not mine. The disembodied thought seems to take me by the hand and drag me impatiently down the street. When I look into the cafés and clubs now I can see what it is that people are actually doing with each other: they are talking and sharing impressions and recordings that they have made. They are doing this with these devices attached to their heads. It doesn’t seem like a very good idea, but I can see why it’s popular. For a start, there are no awkward spaces or silences; they have been edited out. We are walking along a small street where the outer wall of a garden surround a house or business has little planting boxes in it. My guide sends me a recording through the glasses, like a memory, that shows how one night he had pissed in all the plant boxes. “It wasn’t very nice of me, pissing on all their strawberries.” Later, everyone in the house is surprised to hear I think it is obvious their failure to communicate directly is the main reason they are so unhappy. “Are we unhappy?” “I didn’t know… That’s horrible.” Several of them leave the lounge room to get coffee. Later, while I am recording a message through the glasses I notice that the image of myself is not quite right, perhaps because it has been made from the ‘inside-out’. In any case, I decide to compare the image of myself with my real self and to do this by opening my eyes. I open my eyes. I expect to see myself like I would see myself in a mirror, but there is no mirror. All I can see is [a cupboard and a part of the ceiling in my room.] I close my eyes and see the image of myself in the recording. I open my eyes again, and again nothing, except that in my mind is a flash of recognition that my real body is several shades lighter in color and heavier in weight than the one in my dreams.

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