…inside a safe, comfortable American chain restaurant.

You’ve stripped away your imagination, preconceived notions, and assumptions about reality. Now, it’s just you and her and the world. But, the feelings are still there. It’s a collection of awarenesses, really. You are aware of some type of energy pollution coming off of the diners across from you. These are young college students, pretty people who are pleased with themselves and having a good laugh at the expense of the uglier world that surrounds them.

The vibes you get from them come automatically, as do the vibes from a room full of people competing for attention with their ideas. Your boss, an avowed atheist, plays these energies like a maestro. Lots of people who call themselves atheists do, which is weird–to be someone who demands utter physical evidence, independently verified in three studies with a double-blind process–and then to be so adept at manipulating all these things about others that remain unseen by science and scoffed at by skeptics.

Perhaps many atheists are actually beings from higher realms or humans who have accessed the higher planes of existence–and they use their small-minded atheism as a front to keep the rest of us in the dark.

But, whatever. You can’t deny your magic superpowers any longer. You must explore just what this is that you perceive so easily from others–this undefinable stuff New Agey types apply wholesale as “energy.” For, you can quickly come to feel whether you like someone or not, and you have to really rationalize and force the friendship for folks you don’t feel any positive connection.

…with an un-American leap from the bed to the espresso maker.

You were dreaming that you were a French or Russian revolutionary writer, living in a time and place when what you wrote could get you hanged or beheaded. It was puzzling to see such times through firsthand eyes, and wonder why your waking self often ended up wallowing in such despair over the troubled times of this age of lost American innocence.

When was America innocent and peaceful? you wonder.

When was it perfectly safe to walk down any street in this country, and have any colored skin you wanted? For a select few, an idyllic era of being able to do little and say many dehumanizing things about others, yet get ahead at some company so you could one day play golf full time–such an era is indeed going away.

Will America look like Germany, China or Syria in twenty years? That is the question, those are the choices (and China won’t look like China).

You remember that first time you got in real trouble, for writing nasty notes about the teacher that used the “f” word. In many ways, your writing has never held so much power over others since then. A teacher here or there might say “nice work, could be better,” and a girlfriend now and then might say “oh my God, I’m so offended,” but for the most part, your words have spilled out into the ether for only robots to digest.

Perhaps, like Voltaire, you need to drink many, many more espressos than just one or two–then the writing will become revolutionary, provocative and full of power.

… with an all-American leap from the bed to the coffeemaker.

You were dreaming that it was 1765 and you were British. America was just across the street, instead of across the Atlantic. You were some kind of fellow like Samuel Pepys, serving your Lord. Your Lord was an eccentric gay man, who had a thing for you, confessing it after all these years. You recalled your time at University, wondering if you’d studied so hard just to become a manservant fulfilling peculiar requests.

Then, like the light of a film projector being snuffed out, your waking life reappears: a life of existing at the tail end of America’s great years. All of the modern amenities are available to you and then some. No smallpox or polio awaits you when you walk out to board the train. You go to gyms with other beautiful people and take vacations in other American cities, as well as hop on planes to visit the British.

But, the Lord you really serve day-to-day is not much different, is he? He’s an eccentric fool, offering you strange tasks in exchange for a little comfort and security from the mobs that roam the lands beyond the great American Estate. Your Lord of two hundred and fifty years ago was a dying man, your Lord of today is the dying dollar.

…thanks to us.

Hold on, we are still erasing your sleep entertainment so that your brain will be clear and focused. You are a 70% productive member of the Economy, delivering 70% useful work back into the system, and deriving only 30% its benefits. We’ve begun the satellite uplink, syncing your chip and brain with the universal data system. Currently, we see that you are attempting to have .00012% original thoughts, so overall, you should be optimized to step outside and interface with other members of the Economy.

You may wish to pause at the corner booster shot bistro, as a nasty system virus was reported in Uganda, caused of course by chipless enemies of the Economy.

We are detecting .38% of your brain is wrestling with an emotional artifact from the pre-Economy era, and are adding an appointment to your calendar to visit the psyche service center and have this checked out. It may be a purely physical trace of residue left from a nanobot scrub that was not terminated properly, or you may require a more thorough series of psychic conditionings to have it removed.

Please stop now at the station while the morning worship service begins. Prostrate yourself before one of the large, flat screen TVs, and perform the required rituals. Your soul is now kept alive by our most excellent and infinitely wise leader and his mistress. Feel free to writhe in ecstasy with your fellow Marked souls.

Make the sign of the temple, touching your index fingers and thumbs together to form a triangle, and board the train to begin your day of service.

… trying to cut away the cobwebs with your newfound laser focus.

A world of infinite possibilities is the world that you awake from, but the possibilities are closing in, growing thin, and tend to begin with a step in that 180 degree wrong direction.

You know, you got yourself on the proper path, and snagged a few insights from the boundless realm of the Universal Spirit, but each day you seek to put Truth more into practice, a whole lot of Evil seeks to pull you towards it. The two seem to need each other, and both need you to make them become real things.

Without you, there is no Truth or Love or God in this world, and there can be no Evil, either.

You walk through the outdoor shopping mall, thinking about each person you know, and whether he or she is more rich on the outside or the inside. So many souls you meet these days are overly abundant in personality, almost so perfect in their affectations as to make you believe that they are sharing rich, inner worlds–when, all the while they’ve entirely abandoned the notion of worlds beyond the one they create in the here and now.

Your laser focus sees a whole mess of bullshit accrued inside your so-called rich, inner life. It begs you to learn the difference between letting something go for good, and simply ignoring it.

Only humans create straight lines. Straight lines are found everywhere in man made objects. Straight lines are found almost nowhere outside of nature.

The inner world of dreams and possibilities has no straight lines. Are these magic, imaginary objects the gift of God or of the devil?

You also think about Time outside of man’s domain–Time is fashioned differently, it’s sphere-like and often folds back upon itself. Traveling back to an era before man existed, you would hardly recognize Time, and think you were in more of a dream state.

But, your straight line mind is the only thing that has kept you alive all these sad, misspent years. The good things you do habitually, the long marches around the lake, the insistence upon waking up each day and taking it from the man no matter how much you hate it. You’ve had to choose each day a little more between always knowing where you’re going (but going around in circles), and always moving in a straight line (but never knowing where you’re going next).

…but you are dying from this one-sided communication.

You thrive on instant feedback. You are a junky to it. You work in an environment where you go unnoticed for months. You have become an echo chamber. If the Kingdom of Heaven is within, then it must not be very big, because your own thoughts keep bouncing back up at you. Please, God, you cry, like Morrissey, just once in my life I’d like to get what I want. Lord knows, it would be the first time…

…on a vacation from your baggage.

All this junk you’ve been carrying around like a damn turtle–you’re so sick of it. You don’t want or need what happened ten years ago to define how you should behave in this next social encounter or that one. Nobody knows you or cares about what you’re feeling on the inside. Your face isn’t especially ugly or pretty, and your brain isn’t especially smart or stupid.

What the hell do you want, anyway? For the rest of the world to stop what it’s doing and apologize profusely every time it misinterprets a look that flashes across your face?

Were you really burned that time when you put your hand on the stove, or did you imagine the whole thing so you wouldn’t every have to actually stay in the kitchen and cook something?

It’s time to take a permanent vacation from all this crap you carry around inside you–if scientists were capable of peering inside your head, it would look worse than any of those hoarders on those reality shows.