In a Dream-like State

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Aieeee, where is that alarm?!?


I thought I placed it on the table where it usually is –


Ok, Alice, listen for it. Search for it. Source is right….HERE


Finally. Ugh, it must have fallen off. Must have been that crazy dream I had. Probably should stop listening to that audiobook my cousin gave me last week for my birthday. Flatland by Edwin Abbott. “You’re nerdy, so you’ll love it!” he said. I would have, if it weren’t for the guy’s boring way of talking. Even a drone could have done it better, while this guy seemed to have a bad attitude. Was it twooooo dimensional for him? Ha…ha…ha... Bah, wish I could just read it.

I search for my clothes, trying to remember the weird dream I had. The beginning was clear to me. I was on the floor, with my knees near my chest with my arms wrapped around my legs. Using my hands, I felt the wall and the floor. Couldn’t confirm on a ceiling. “Hello?” I might have said that. Was there someone else there too? If there was I probably would have –


Knee casualty, boy I’ve had one too many of those in my life. Usually my room is kept really tidy, but not today. The emptier it is, the better. Fewer things to deal with, nothing that could get in my way. Just like my dream.

Ok, now I remember it better. I was in a box with a camera-like shutter sound echoing around. I held my breath, waiting and anticipating for the sound to come out so that I could find it. After a few tries, I found it! It felt rectangular. Open. Close. Open. Close. Like eyes, I suppose. But why? Binary, that’s what I think of, but fuzzy binary logic. Do I dare stick my hand through? There are only two possibilities: yes or no. Up or down. On or off. You or me. Wait, are you looking at me? No way of knowing, but if you’re still doing that, I’ll count down…3…2…1…(shutter close).

Morning routine. Check. Gather my stuff. Check. Wait, keys and phone. Where are they– oh, they’re in my pocket. Win.

Why would someone look at me? Was there even someone there? I felt like someone was watching me. But only half the time. Maybe they were just checking on me, making sure I was still alive. Wait, I could have been dead. Or somewhere in between? Is that what sleep is? A superposition of being alive and dead. But I was alive in my dream! Or was I in a superposition while I was in a superposition in real life. SUPERPERCEPTIONNNN. You can’t know for sure until you see me…in my dream that is.

At a certain point, though, I knew I was in a pretty entangled situation as it was with no clear way out. Time seems to be passing by with no end in sight. Open. Close. Open. Close. Who could stand this? On. Off. I’m going crazy. I NEED to get out. You. Me. Desperation started kicking in. YES. I BANGED the walls with my fists, YELLING and SHOUTING. NO. SCREAMING FOR HELP……until I woke up.

Opening the front door, I hear the light rain falling on the ground. I tap my stick on the ground ahead of me to hear how big the splash is. Meh, not too deep. I make my way carefully down the stairs, trying to not fall over, and start walking over to the lecture hall. Cars to my left. Pedestrians to my right. Destination up ahead. Messy apartment behind me. I got to the corner, waiting patiently for the signal to cross. Good thing you can hear it. Ah, walk sign is on! Observation is key if you’re ever me. Nothing is ever certain about your surroundings. Everything is entangled, each entity in a state of superposition with varying uncertainties. You make an observation, perform an experiment testing all of your senses: taste…smell…touch…sound–


I felt the car whoosh past just inches in front of me.

“Ma’am, are you ok?”

“Yes, I am fine! Walk sign was on, correct?”

“Yeah, that car just ran a red light. I’m just glad you’re ok. Luckily you stopped right where you were. No way you would have seen him coming.”

“Close call indeed! Sorry, I need to run off! I’m already late for a class I’m teaching. Thanks!”

A little shaken, I hurry over to the lecture hall building and make my way through the entrance. With a little bit of time, I let the air of familiarity settle in and calm me down. The smell of fresh coffee ready to turn into new ideas. The laughter from conversations. The soft give of the hardwood floor with every step. The taste of toothpaste, still in my mouth from my morning routine. Despite the fact that my life changed when I lost my vision many years ago, it’s still good to know that some things remain the same in a world filled with chaos.

I find the lecture hall door, turn the knob, and walk in. All chatter comes to a dying halt.

“Hi class! Sorry for being late. Let’s get started, shall we? Last time we talked about Schrodinger’s cat and today we’ll talk about the human in a box…sorry, PARTICLE in a box.”


Tell me I’m still dreaming.

About the Author: 
Joshua Yoon is a graduate student at Stanford University, inspired by science, art, and music.