The Convenience of Alternate Reality   Leave a comment

sleep

Sleep, Salvador Dali, 1937

Just once, I’d like to experience alternate reality.  It’d be so cool.  Its applications easily transform a life of drudgery into one of utter convenience and comfort.

How?  Glad you asked.

Need a vacation?  Press capital “A” and “R” and “enter” on the keyboard.  And there you are, adrift on a tranquil otherworldly beach, fingers tracing a path in the water as you doze contentedly on a bamboo raft.  The best part is, it doesn’t cost you a cent.  Only a bit of a time share of the brain is all that’s needed for a quick and secure purchase.

But why limit yourself?  Imagine all those options now available at the tap of your fingers…

A teenaged daughter melts down in the throes of a mind-bending temper tantrum, the cause of which is as remote and unidentifiable as the chances of the United States winning the World Cup.  Tap the keys and gently glide her towards the closet et voila!  She vanishes into an alternate reality where organization, good grades and a clean bedroom floor rule the culture.

Or the unreasonable boss whose unending, bellicose rants that spew unfathomable opinions regarding what’s possible and what isn’t, and invariably differs from yours, everyone else’s and even the client:  an accidentally-on-purpose keyboard maneuver zaps the offending creature-person into a universe filled with vegetarian peace mongers whose lives are governed by reason and silent meditation.

Sending people off into ARs is terrifically, wonderfully cathartic.  If one had the will to jettison any nasty, reprehensible being into a space-time continuum that requires that person to experience/do what only the reaches of fantasy could dream up, prisons would be a thing of the past.

AR isn’t necessarily punishment for evil.  It’s also a reward for good.  The desperate street person stands in a lush, vibrant Eden after offering assistance to a stranger.  A poor young mother struggling with an empty refrigerator and bank account suddenly grapples with luxury in a 110-roomed mansion, complete with a  safe stuffed with cash hidden behind a library portrait.

One often sees ARs pop up in science fiction.  Alternative worlds, even universes exist, habituated with mirror versions of ourselves living lives alien to our own.  Trouble is, where are these places?  Presently, we can’t seem to determine how our own universe came into being, let alone figure out its size.  Where are we supposed to locate a portal to the plane of existence that remedies, curses, challenges or accentuates the very qualities humans of Earth lack or ignore?

It’s around someplace.  It has to be.  I have about 30 socks waiting to join their partners there.

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