Scenic Route

Addicted to the nothing of sleep
and everything it brings,
they gave me a new hat to try on

and with one yawn, it brought me dreams.
It brought me visions of driving,
cars rushing past me.

The scenery shifts into things
that can’t be,
but forgotten just as easily.

Then I awake in my driveway
as if seconds had passed,
still exhausted from the waking

and fully prepared to sleep again.
And I dreamt of sleeping, dreaming
of sleeping and dreaming of sleeping…

The scenic route home this has been,
now too difficult to tell
which dream I’m in.

***

Not sure if I’d classify this dream as a nightmare, but it was pretty close to one.

Some time in the future, well after self-driving cars were something to be expected along with induced dreaming, there was an idea. An idea for a sort of helmet that let the wearer sleep and drive simultaneously. Of course, the car’s AI would compensate for any inconsistencies. Essentially the driver would have a simulated dream of the drive. The technology was still in its early stages so they needed someone to test it. My dream self had lived a life addicted to dreams and the hidden truths they held (not so far off from the real me). So I volunteered excitedly. The idea that I could complete an everyday task like driving from the safety and comfort of my dreams was all I could have asked for.

It worked great. I dreamt of cruising down side roads, the scenery more or less fading into the background. The machine only needed to make sure I dreamt of the road and the other cars on it, everything else was completely secondary. This is where the difference between a regular drive and a dream drive became clear. The world around me that was deemed not necessary info to the drive was left completely up to my imagination. So my subconscious was able to fill in the gaps with dazzlingly spectacles, which ironically still faded from memory rather quickly. It was an unusual nuance of a lucid dream.

The test was a total success and I woke up at my home surrounded by the engineering team who ran some additional tests. I was still totally exhausted and craved sleep, which was not uncommon for someone addicted to dreaming. I went to bed soon after and had a sort of nightmare. Nothing really objectively terrifying though, it was more like dreaming of being in sleep paralysis. Side effects of the experiment I guess? But it scared the hell out of me. It felt like there were several layers to my dreams, all of which I was just lying in bed asleep, dreaming of myself lying there in bed asleep, and so on. I managed to shake myself awake and lied there, exhausted but too scared to sleep. Unsure of whether I was actually awake. It was as if I was doomed to dream of reality and it bored me to death.

So yeah. Nightmare.

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