Empty Set

Last night, I had yet another dream about the festival from January, but…it felt very different.

It felt like my current self. I was there, but it didn’t feel like I was really truly there: I was fully aware of the fact that I was dreaming, that every person I was was an illusion, that I wasn’t there; that it had already happened and I was living in a memory. It was over. I’d had the time of my life, and I was really back home, dreaming in my own bed. I was on the other side of the thought running through my head at the time, that some day it would all be a memory.

It was late morning to early afternoon. There was a low level of conversation in the place, scattered all over. It all sounded more like murmuring than the high-energy shouting of a crowded music hall.

The people I saw were mostly filler plus a few faces I remembered vaguely from the festival and various other conventions. I wandered through the bottom floor of the convention resort, where the artists sold their merchandise – mostly glancing at tables and saying hi every so often. I met an artist I was familiar with. I’d only ever met her at conventions in my own country, though she did visit a different part of the USA for another convention the following month. I told her that I really loved her art and I appreciated everything she did, even if she wasn’t real and was just a representation, smiled at her and her helpers and said thanks. I encountered several other artists and had similar interactions, but this is the only one I still remember.

Walking through the halls still felt strange, like walking through the half-deconstructed set of a finished movie. Knowing what it was, it all felt so fragile; it’d been a long time since I’d had both the knowledge I was in a dream and my true memories in a dream, and it felt…almost wrong to have such power.

It was still fun to see the place one last time though. Even if strange, it felt comfortable and relaxed. It felt like Sunday, the final day on which people pack their bags and say goodbye to their friends until next year – almost exactly like it. It felt just like moving on. I couldn’t help but smile.

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