Tasty Wheaties

None of this is real. I have no idea if anything actually exists until I touch it, and even then my brain is just cataloging sensations from my fingers into electrical impulses telling me that the covers on my bed are soft, or that the bed is firm. “They” have deemed these impulses from the more sensitive areas of the body to be your “senses”. But sight is nothing more than light-waves reflecting off of objects and through the lens of my eyes and interpreted by my brain; you can’t trust it. Ever have those dreams where reality bleeds into those last precious moments of rapid eye movement (or REM) sleep?
“This Friday night, I fall asleep at my desk at work. When I wake up with my face and my crossed arms on my desktop, the telephone is ringing, and everyone else is gone. A telephone was ringing in my dream, and it’s not clear if reality slipped into my dream or if my dream is slopping over into reality.” In this quote from the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, reality is an illusion that the main character is unable to make sense of. What if this plague of confused interpretations swept the country? Everyone would have dyslexia of the mind. Color-blind realities would be everywhere. The line between fact and fiction would blur. You wouldn’t know what’s going on.
You lie in bed and you hear an alarm. It is far away and shouldn’t even bother you, much less annoy you. But it does, for it is not only the herald of a new day, but also the buzz of doom. So you get out of bed and go to turn it off. But it’s not on the table. Nor on the dresser. It is nowhere in plain sight. So you dig around the room for a few minutes. During this time someone has entered the room. Mother, sister, significant other, whoever. You acknowledge them with a grunt as you part the clothes hanging in your closet. You crouch down and raise a pile of clothes off of the floor, uncovering the bane of your morning. With a sense of pride, you flip the switch to deactivate the alarm. Then another buzzing noise begins across the room. You stand up and sigh. Suddenly, as you turn around, the figments of your imagination blur together like strawberries, raspberries, ice and orange juice do in a blender. Slowly the colors of a cross between the old Batman show’s scene change and an acid trip give way to the white lumpiness of your room’s ceiling.
Your head is reeling at the sound of the still beeping alarm clock as your eyes blink at the dull haze of predawn. You try to push the covers back, only to discover your covers aren’t on the bed. They’re on the floor at the foot of your bed. You rouse yourself from the bed to turn the real alarm off, only to discover the chill in your air-condition haven. Oh, the fan’s on. That explains the chill. With the alarm deactivated, your other senses come to life and report impulses to your brain: your eyes interpret the light-waves off of clothes and pamphlets lying on the floor; your olfactory senses absorb the air, and the years of fermenting dirt, sweat, deodorant and dust; you taste the stagnancy of the room and savor it, letting your tongue digest the altered and, hopefully clean, air. But none of it is actually there . . . is it?

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