What if I’m not really here?
That is, what if I’m somewhere, but not precisely where I think I am? The thought has plagued me for as long as I can remember: what if, as I’m going about my daily routine, everything around me is merely a convincing full-sensory hallucination?
I imagine it somewhat like this: I’m standing in my shower, shampoo bubbles trickling down into my eyes… except the whole thing is an illusion, and I’m really standing in the middle of my office, hands in my hair, eyes closed, going about the motions of washing my hair. Some of my coworkers notice, giggle, shake their heads. Weird graphics guy’s goofing off! Look! Except I don’t stop, even when a manager passes by and questions me about it–at first lightly, and then again, in a more brusque tone. He puts a hand on my shoulder, “Don’t you have some work you could be doing?” Perhaps, but for all intents and purposes I’m in my shower. I don’t budge, and a crowd gathers around me.
Or! Or what if I think I’m walking home, and I really am walking home. At least right up until I trip over the curb. At that point reality and perception diverge once more, and while I see myself continuing to walk up toward the car park, I’ve actually landed on my face, and am now rolling back and forth on the pavement, legs obliviously beating in a useless walking cycle, like a broken windup robot.
Poor me! What went wrong? And does it really matter? For the last tree has fallen, and the woods were never really there to begin with.