How a Toothbrush Charger Led to my Fear of Whales

The room goes dark. I can’t see anything. I can’t hear anything. Suddenly, I’m surrounded by a room covered in gray panels. I look around to see different TV screens. I lift my hands up, but I have no arms. I look down to see no body of mine. I am simply an observer in this world.

She tells me that she’s going to bring me the controller. Out of nowhere, an instrument that looks something like what I use to charge my electric toothbrush appears on the ground a few feet to my side. Like a ghost, it lifts up and moves towards me, only stopping right in front of me. I blindly use my hand and shockingly feel the controller in my grasp. She then tells me to grab the other one; I can’t see it yet, but my right hand clings onto the second controller. As my hand grasps the second controller, it suddenly comes into view. As I move these ‘electric toothbrush chargers’ around the room, a shadow follows. This isn’t fake. It feels all too real for me.

She tells me to press on the color I want to make balloons appear. A color wheel appears on my toothbrush charger. I press on the remote where I feel dark red would be on the wheel and a balloon starts to inflate from the end of my remote. Like a booger, I flick the balloon off the remote and it drifts away towards the never-ending gray space. I click turquoise and another balloon sprouts. This time I click it with my other remote and it goes soaring into the gray space disappearing from sight within seconds.
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She tells me it’s time to begin. My view is pitch black with a hint of ocean blue. As my vision starts to clear up, I look up towards the lighter blue and can see the sun beating against the water above me. I turn around on the sunken boat and see fish swimming on my side. I take my first step and inch towards the front of the ship. It’s amazing how this world allows me to move in the same way as my world. I start to feel more comfortable with my new self. As I walk up against the rail of the boat, I look over and am amazed at how deep the coral branches lead down. I try to reach for the fish and my controllers have become hands.

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This world is real, like a National Geographic scene. From behind, I hear a large bellowing. I turn around and my eyes open with bewilderment as this monstrous whale swims by the boat and stops with its eye two feet away from me. I step back unsure of what his intentions are for me. His eye bursts open and stares me down, frozen. I’m no longer in control of my world. I wait for the whale’s next move and stand there breathless. His focus shifts forward and his large body moves slowly away.

She tells me this next world is referred to as Space Pirates. I appear on a flat platform with outer space as my background. I pull out my hands to see I’m holding two guns. This is not my reality. A sound shifts my focus and I see a small robot alien creature flying 20 feet out. I instinctively point my gun and shoot it. giphy-1I’m presented with now two alien robots and shoot both with my dual-wielded body. As more alien robots come, I find myself moving quickly back and forth, trying to shoot them as fast as possible. I can’t make it: oneshoots at me and hits. This world resets and I’m back down to one alien robot and regret my irresponsibility. This won’t happen again. I bring my left hand behind my back and pull it back in front of my face. My gun is now a shield. As I constantly change between dual wielding guns and hedging my risk of death with a shield, my mind starts to think. An alien shoots me with a laser blast and I cleverly  quick-step to my left and slow-mo dodge the laser.
This is not my reality. But it’s better. As I fight alien robots off in this world, I can’t help but smile as I confidently dodge lasers and fire back. This is a world I want to live in. 

Suddenly, it’s all dark again. Back to reality. I reach around my heavy head to pull the HTC Vive headset off.  I might be back in this world, but I’d rather be in another


All images and graphics used this article are taken from YouTube.

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