Who can bear the weight of dreams?

She closed her NeuroPsych textbook and pushed it toward the back of the desk. The quiet pinging of her DigiAssist (patent pending, but when you had a market monopoly, patents were less of a concern) reminding her that it was time to get up, stretch, and prepare for bed. She reached her right arm straight up. Her left arm slid behind her head, grasping her upper right arm. She arched her back and bent slightly, stretching all the cramped muscles. She had been sitting and reading for almost 2 hours- far beyond the recommended 50 minutes. She knew it was a health risk, but the current reading topic was Dreams, and she was both horrified and fascinated.

“Dreams… ” she muttered to herself as she changed for bed. “It is hard to imagine giving yourself over to the vagaries of the unknown every time you slept- they even had bad dreams. Who would put themselves through that on purpose?

Thank goodness modern medical tech had advanced beyond that. She had read that the first NeuroBot pioneers were concerned when their dreams disappeared after plugging NeuroBots in to clean their brains while they rested. But they did not get ill, did not die and the current dementia rates were under 10 percent- the lowest ever measured. Seems like dreams were not as important as first believed. The text had a lot of accounts of early dream records- there was even an ancient branch of psych that had been based on dream analysis!

She shook her head slightly, trying to clear her thoughts before climbing into her bunk and plugging into her own NeuroBot port. She smoothed out the straight edges of the covers and looked up at the clean, empty grey walls. How can anyone ever really understand the importance that dreams had played in ancient civilization? Some had talked about rejecting their ports and skipping their cleansing, but no one had taken such a drastic step – and she doubted they ever would. Even the thought of such anomalous behavior made her feel a little ill. She reached up, pulled down the NeuroBot cord and plugged it into her permanent port. She felt the warmth of the fluid and small robots flowing into her system and smiled a little to herself as she visualized all the daily toxic byproducts being cleared from her system.

She closed her eyes and felt sleep creeping into the edges of her awareness. She knew she would soon be lost to slumber, the empty peaceful recharge critical for rational life. No fear, no worries. Who, she wondered could bear the weight of dreams?

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