I considered pepperoni pizza. Perhaps a vindaloo. Something that would really mess me up. I needed to have a nightmare. I needed something intense or vivid. I looked down at the Playboy on my desk. Maybe something sexy? It had been two weeks and my rank on Deltr had dropped twenty points.
Deltr was one of the top dream download sites. The technology was still pretty new. Not many people were willing to spend the money to get a Delta Wave Induction Unit with Dream Playback.
It was a very particular desire to want to experience someone else’s dreams. Deltr users were a close community. We knew each other on a level that was most extremely intimate and totally vague. I knew people’s deepest secrets, but not their names.
And I was loved, for a time. My fears and my hopes and my fantasies were enjoyed by thousands. I had fans, who sent me daydreams they had about me. I had rivalries and friendships and heroes.
But as much as Deltr was like a family, it was also like a high school. There were cliches and clubs and wallflowers and popularity waxed and waned with adolescent caprice.
Once upon a time, I was the prom king. I had explosively colorful dreams, full of cryptic symbols and intriguing metaphors. I had orgies, shot like French art films. I had science fiction operas that blazed with technicolor explosions. I had poignant dramatic moments that touched hearts and minds alike.
At least, I did. But the last few months it was like my subconscious dried up. I couldn’t even summon a “naked at school” or “falling out of a window.” So my fans and friends alike stopped downloading.
So there I was, lying in bed trying to will myself to be interesting again. Something scary or fun or wild. Something interesting. Something that would hold their attention. Something that would make me special, at least for one more night.