This morning, I had a bizarrely detailed dream. I was a student, and it was finals week, and on the street I saw a flyer saying “study at MAIN STACKS 2!” It was posted on a wooden telephone pole and I stared at it for a long time because I thought the ad was put together really sloppily (ugly fonts, etc). I went to check it out and it turned out to be in a dodgy warehouse. I opened the door and was shocked to find that it was actually an internet gaming center with studying tables set up between the rows of computer stations. I was filled with indignant rage that someone had opened a second internet cafe so close to Eudemonia, and that it was really amazing. The ceiling was dark, warehouse-style, but the ground and table surfaces were lit really well somehow. The tables were wooden (just like Eudemonia’s tables, of course). There were TCG products set up between the computer stations (which would be weird in real life since they’d be easy to steal but in my dream it encouraged buying or something). The place was packed with tons of students with their books and notebooks out, mostly asian students (though I didn’t notice this in my dream… I’m writing this from the very precise pictures I have in my head), girls with ponytails and zip-up hoodies.

I walked all around the facility and counted computers at every row to try to get a sense of how many computers there were. It was really difficult to count. I kept losing track and I’d have to focus on the backs of the people sitting in the computer chairs, who were wearing different stereotypical gamer clothing (track jackets and tshirts and stuff). I counted 9 per row in one part of the store, and there were two rows facing each other in each pod, and somehow got up to 80 computers before I gave up in that wing. I went to the other wing of the store (it was huge), passing more tables crowded with students and books, and found a bunch of incredibly decrepit computers that were off. “Ha!” I thought. “At least our computers are better than these!” They had wires everywhere and fewer people were in this part of the store. I went to a wall and peeked in the door that led to a bunch of hallways and Polia was there on a ratty couch, lying on her back, looking up at me. Polia is Tim’s cat.

I went to check out the front counter, and there was a laminated flyer on the surface displaying their prices, in pastel colors, with $1 inside of a flower, and I can’t remember how many hours you got with that pass. Also I got really confused and it turned out that the flyer was advertising keys (with a one-time use) to the back room where I saw Polia, with the janky couch, for people to make out on, and I was really perplexed. There was a whole row of people playing world in conflict on really big widescreen monitors. I remember as I looked over at them, I could see some had the score screen up, and it would flash back to the game as I was watching. All of a sudden it was less crowded somehow, and part of the back of the facility was shut down, and I understood that it was because it was 10pm and there are fewer customers, so they turn off the computers to save power (?). I saw someone playing a warlock lean back in his chair because his screen said “please wait a few minutes” (which I somehow knew to be the computer cafe’s system automatically asking everybody to wait as they did some “maintenance”) and when WoW flashed back on the screen, I saw what I somehow knew to be an addon display the words “You have earned 113 gold in 15 minutes!” and I turned to ask the person behind the counter what addon that was. I was guessing that it was a 3rd party game addon, like bejeweled in wow. The person behind the counter didn’t really listen to me, and then I woke up. My first thought was to call Dean and tell him that we had a really vicious competitor close by and I was really confused about how he could have not known about it. My second thought was deep shame because I haven’t been around for a really long time, and I thought maybe everybody knew already and I was just really behind and lame and horrible.

I guess it was one of those dreams that are really hard to shake off since I sincerely thought it was reality. I don’t know if I have those all the time, but I do know I’m always confused and frustrated in them.

Also I definitely, definitely read words in my dreams. Not only do I read flyers and signs and computer screens, I judge the design of ads. How mundane.

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