I knew from the moment that I woke up that something was wrong.
I sat up, groaned, and reached up to rub at my eyes. My alarm was beeping on the nightstand beside me, but I had no idea how long it had been going off. I reached over and scooped the little clock up, holding it up close to my eyes as I fumbled for my glasses.
“Shit,” I grunted, as I read the time. I was most definitely late.
I set the clock back down on the nightstand, and watched as it slowly sank into the wood. “Solids variable,” I diagnosed to myself. At least it hadn’t yet affected the bed – although it did feel even softer than usual…
I looked down, and realized that I was trapped in the bed up to the wrist. It took several yanks and some creative cursing before I was finally able to wrench free, sending up a spray of liquid down feathers. I quickly climbed up and off of the mattress before I was trapped any further-
-and immediately slipped and landed on the floor.
“Ow,” I groaned through an aching jaw. My teeth had snapped together at the landing, and I’d nearly chopped the tip off of my own tongue.
I put my hands down on the hardwood to lift myself up, and they immediately slid aside. I tried again, to the same result. “Friction,” I muttered to myself. Man, couldn’t I take a single morning off without everything going to hell?
I noticed that my slippers were on the ground a couple feet away, and I managed to snag them with one outstretched toe. Fortunately, their exclusion programming was still in place, and they provided firm traction against the infinitely slippery floor. I slipped them over my bare toes and managed to shakily lift myself back up.
After one look at the M.C. Escher-esque nightmare that my stairs had transformed into, I headed for my upstairs office. There was no way I was getting lost in that fifth-dimensional tangled nightmare.
Halfway along the hallway, a young man suddenly popped into existence, dressed in military fatigues and holding a rather large and foreboding rifle. “Grandpa?” he called out, lifting up the gun to his shoulder.
I punched him in the face and locked him in my linen closet.
After a few more minutes of walking down the hallway, I realized that even though I kept on halving the distance to my office, I was never reaching it. “Stupid tortoise and arrow,” I grunted, reaching down to lower myself onto my knees. On the infinitely slippery floor, I was able to slide that last fraction of an inch to cross the threshold.
I really shouldn’t have even slept in at all! Given that I was surprised by sleeping in, it shouldn’t have happened at all. But then I remembered that I’d addressed the Unexpected Hanging last month, and so it could once again occur at random.
In my office, I grabbed for the coffee maker. I’d built the thing around a Boyle’s flask, so at least it was always full and flowing. I took a large sip, trying to get my brain in gear as I pulled myself up to my computer.
The machine seemed to be taking forever to boot… “God dammit, Zeno,” I told the air as I realized what was happening. I hit the key sequence to skip ahead instead of attempting to boot every sector.
I should have expected this struggle. After all, this wasn’t the first time I’d slept in. But good ol’ Hegel always seemed to keep on popping up, no matter how many times I squashed it.
Finally, I was able to get to my program, where I quickly began countering the errors that had popped up. If I just sat here as an Observer, I knew, this wouldn’t happen, but even I needed to sleep every now and then.
Finally, with the errors mostly in control, I sat back, stretching, trying to remember what was in my refrigerator. Maybe my future self, after I took his rifle away from him, would like a bagel or something.