erik lundegaard

Friday September 23, 2022

Dreaming of a High-Tech Retirement Home ... Or Is it????

I had moved into the new modern highrise where Patricia was living. It may or may not have been a senior living facility—that might have come later—but it was totally teched up. Patricia was able to come and go because of a chip they'd placed inside her, while I still had to sign in at security checkpoints and use a keycard at specific locales that she could just breeze past. There were also helpful roomba-like robots gliding around, being helpful, answering questions. 

One night we were returning to her/our place, and there was a key in the door. “Did you leave this in here when you left this afternoon?” I said, annoyed. “I must have,” she said, guiltily. (I know: key, high-tech. Anyway.) The door was unlocked but inside we could hear some voices, and in another room, a spare bedroom, my sister Karen and her husband Eric were setting things up. That's right, they were staying for a week or whatever, and we'd sent them the key. “You know, the key was still in the door,” I said. I was addressing Eric more than Karen, but his reaction was more of a shrug than a mea culpa. I tried to make them understand the import. “Patricia has all her stuff here, you know,” I said. “You can't ... It's just ... It could be dangerous ...” but I was getting nowhere. Blank stares. So I gave up. I thought about going to a neighborhood bar for a drink but remembered I was trying to drink less.

For a high-tech highrise, the place had a lot of byzantine hallways, and I was on the first floor, I guess near the kitchen, and was trying to get up to our room. An elevator door opened and I went inside and one of the roombas followed me in. But it was tiny, and as I turned to punch in our floor I saw there was only one floor you could go to. Like floor 28. I figured it was a service elevator. “Sorry, wrong one,” I said and tried to get off. But the roomba got in my way, and said, “No, this is the right one,” and the doors closed. And the roomba suddenly grew in size and grabbed me and told me all of these things I was going to do. It was in the middle of this list when it realized: “It doesn't have the chip in it.” And that's when I realized I didn't have to do all the stuff it was telling me, I had free will. So I began to punch it and punch it to let me go. It was tough, because it was metal, but I damaged it. Then I tried to figure out how not to go to floor 28. The roomba, damaged, could still be helpful. “Press the down arrow,” it said. 

In the hallways again I realized what was going on. The implants allowed them to take control of the residents, who would then sign over their wealth; and then they'd be killed or commit suicide and more rooms would open up. Did it begin as a way of dealing with a growing, aging population? And then it became this money-making enterprise? I was running through the hallways trying to find Patricia, who had a chip in her and was in danger. And now I was in danger. They knew that I didn't have the chip. And that I knew

I like how cinematic this dream is. That clues are mentioned early—me not having a chip—but in a way that made it seem like “Get with it, Erik,” rather than “This could be dangerous.” The most vivid part was the elevator scene, so cramped, and with the floor buttons, or button, around the left corner of the elevator, where it never is in real life, but where I expected it to be in this dream. I also liked how the movie went from horror (the roomba growing) to a kind of Will Smith action-adventure (me running through the hallways trying to find Patricia). Plus the grand lesson: I thought I was going to have to do all the things the roomba was telling me, but I didn't, because I still had free will. 

This was a middle-of-the-night dream—I think I woke up about 2:30, then went back to sleep—but still remembered it later. It didn't fade, as middle-of-the-night dreams often do. Possibly because, in subsequent dreams, I think I was telling people about this one. I think I was dreaming telling people about my dream.

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Posted at 07:39 AM on Friday September 23, 2022 in category Technology  
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