“GET YOUR COFFEE, HOT COFFEEEEE!” Zap-Zap shouted with all the gusto of a hot dog vendor on game day. Rapidly blinking lights speed my exit from the realm of dreams.
“I need quiet coffee, Zap-Zap. How long have I been asleep?” There is still a giant spaceship outside the window. Check. Still, don’t know my name. Check.
“14 hours, 6 minutes, and 2 seconds!”
“Try to give me something that won’t make me pass out again,” I said hoping to stay awake and figure out what the hell is going on. You’ve got to hand it to him though. That was great coffee. He is doing his magic again. A blur of energy and flying arms. With all the lights it’s like watching a disco ball do Kung Fu. A cup floats weightlessly toward me. How does he do that?
“Doctor Sophia asked me to take you for a walk to the Biolab when you’re ready. She said we need to keep you moving. I told her that’s what coffee is for!”
Getting up is slightly less painful this time. I hope someone from the future can heal me or at least make the pain go away. My feet don’t want to start moving but I force them. Space stretches out before me in a beautiful tapestry. The whole thing is completely impossible and yet here I am. But impossible things have been happening to me my whole life. Maybe those things finally broke my mind. It broke the minds of some of the people around me so it could have got mine too. All of this seems so real though. Is this really the sanitarium rec room complete with something to bite down on? Zap-Zap is suddenly rushing towards me.
“Tag, YOU’RE IT!” he exclaims and goes racing toward the door.
Let’s go feet. I think he wants me to follow him. Down the hallway and to the left. The body is starting to feel better. What did he put in that coffee? Zap-Zap makes another gesture with his hand and a new door whooshes open as he speeds in. It appears to be an elevator. One without buttons or any visible means of control.
I feel a slight sense of movement but nowhere near what is experienced in 2017 elevators. When I was in the hospital back on Earth I experienced a bizarre elevator malfunction that scared one of the nurses. The elevator had traveled the required number of floors but we still wound up on the wrong floor. She started to panic for a moment. I didn’t quite know how to tell her it was okay because this sort of thing happened all the time. Wonder what she would have thought about the bizarre synchronicities that soon followed.
The doors of the elevator whooshed open and I was again dumbfounded by the mind-boggling sight in front of me. A Japanese garden? In space? I’ve seen a few large indoor gardens, but nothing like this. Trees disappear into the horizon. The sky is an endless domed grid of hexagonal glass panels. Stars stare back at me partially obscured by clouds. Multi-colored unrecognizable birds fly overhead. I can feel a slight breeze on my face. Far away frogs are calling to each other. Extraordinary beauty steals the words from my mouth.
A carefully placed bridge of stones meanders through a stream in front of us. Zap-Zap begins to float off the ground and then drifts out over the stream waving his arm at me. I walk under a red wooden gate that separates the elevator from this stunning place. The utterly impossible again seems familiar somehow.
“Please be careful and stay on the path. The Biolab contains lifeforms from the far reaches of space and wandering off could be dangerous. Please step onto the bridge.” his tone was serious now as he began to make more hand gestures.