Floating in zero gravity, I feel no pain, no loss, no conveyance of meaning to me of what I deep down know is about to happen. In less than a minute the spherical, nanometre thick wall around me will burst into life; a screen of infinite clarity and infinite resolution and a speaker for surround. It will be a replacement to my sound and vision of what I know is real. It will blur my reality into my imagination, as I freely float unaware of the sensors that track my every movement, and keep me in equidistant from the edge. As I rotate through movements of my own volition, what I see and hear will rotate in unison; a complete self-perpetuating whole to smother my senses into believing what is not, is.
The light grows ever stronger, seeking to engulf me, embracing my body with its strangely inviting yet invisible open arms. I feel the sensors on my body probing my neural net to seek what it is I want to experience, eager to convert my thoughts into what will be for me my reality. Somewhere hidden in the infinite void of what I call the netherworld, a computer is preparing to devote its runtime to seek my pleasures for me and re-project them back on my mind. Straining to hear through the silence that is engulfing me, I imagine briefly of this computer unobserved beyond the sphere of the booth – the designer drug of the new century.
Where once junkies injected mind altering drugs that harmed and made their users hooked and dependant on them, forever craving that rush that the drug could bring, I now revel at the technological delight that has been developed as a safe alternative. I know that like junkies of the past, and like billions of others, I am hooked, but this is a fact that can easily be overlooked. Soon the anonymity of my mind will take over, soothing the pain of the rigours and monotony of my real life, replacing them only with the life that my imagination-fuelled mind wants to live.
Then the moment takes hold; the screen bursts to life and I am here, in my mind that is the open world. The netherworld has embraced me, and the journey to beyond can begin.
A hundred lights arcing across a hundred skies, a thousand sunrises and sunsets rolled into one long cinemascape as the days roll to one and to infinity together in a moment that lasts both forever and less than a moment in the same heart-beat.
Dawn has broken in my new reality.
“This is love, this is love” my mind keeps telling me. And with the yearnings of the universe and a mind expanding realisation of the realms of trinity and beyond my mind merges with the groove, rolling over and over turning itself inside out in a Technicolor petrochemical dawn of realisation.
A hiss of compressed air and the gentle hum of electronics winding down after a long session of the booth ease over me, all too soon.
It is time to leave.
Opening my eyes, I look up at the sphere that has been my only horizon for the last twenty-four hours. The cold grey ceramic of the superconductors, the billions of tiny transistors and crystal gauze of the projection. This is the booth, the designer release, my only vice.
For a day I have floated in my own reality, away from the grind and rigours of my reality. A dawn of my own imagination that allows me what I want – a total immersion from which only my subconscious will control.
The Sleeper awakes.