We- R -VR - Chapter 1
I floated in…I wasn’t sure where I was floating, really. But it was very calming. I felt a rhythmic beat rather than heard it, but it was just part of the environment here, something that made me feel one with whatever I was floating it.
I realized, as I drifted, that I didn’t even know who I was. Although that knowledge was definitely in my head, it was…out of reach. Although that should have alarmed me, I had a feeling that it was ok. I think I was the one who wanted it put into a ball and set aside. It almost seemed angry…no. That’s not it. That ball was more complicated than one thing. It was full of colors, but many of them disconcerting. Nothing like the steady rhythm and floating where I was.
I let these thoughts go. I think…I had tried meditation before. With the idea that you can achieve a nowness, and ignore the past-ness, and not be so wrapped in the future-ness. But it was too hard for me to ever ignore thoughts the way you were supposed to. Wait, not ignore. Acknowledge and then release them to swim off like fish that you let go. I couldn’t do it. The past gripped me and the future scared me all the time. I knew this, as I looked at that ball of more-than-feelings. More than one part of me was in there.
I turned away from that and stopped. And finally surrendered to this place to stop thinking distinct thoughts. I just was, and my self just was in the now, in the rhythm of this place. I don’t know for how long. There are always more nows. An endless number. But it wasn’t boring so my thoughts drifted. It was…just right and something that makes it easy to lose yourself.
After that eternity in now-ness, I came back to thoughts again because I was drawn there. A calm voice greeted me as I returned to myself. Although it would seem intrusive, it was more like being gently awakened.
Completed first stage, In The Womb.
Ah. That’s right. That’s what I was doing. A new form of VR from the company that created the most advanced form of Virtual Reality, ever, called We-R-VR. Not only was it completely immersive, you lose yourself as you can set your own identity aside to live as something else.
Some people loved being the worlds greatest spy. Some people wanted to live lives of luxury and wealth. Others fulfilled fantasies of all types.
I had my own thing I wanted to do. I did not remember at this time if I was 18 or 80 in my life, but I know that my existence had strife and troubles far more than most people have dealt with which weighted down my soul. It made vacations impossible for me, because you can’t escape yourself no matter where you go. But here, you could. But in a special way. There was a branch of VR that far fewer people wanted, but exactly matched what some sought to return to all of their lives. The clarity and simplicity of being a child.
Instead of VR, this special branch called itself AR. Age Regression. Their motto was simple: Be A Child Again. I now knew I had traveled to get to a place that had these programs, go on a real vacation. As I got more of my own life back in my head. Something that I resisted, and left in a ball in the corner so my troubled life wouldn’t intrude even more. I liked even the simplicity of this interface system, as I could set aside the other part of me. But the pull of being a kid again sounded like the perfect escape.
Here, in the AR version of VR, everything was fiction, and nothing was impossible. You were not constrained to be what you were when you were young. Want to try the other gender, or non-gender as a child? No problem. I had heard there were thousands of variables you could play with even with each scenario, and some of them would change your body or the world quite drastically. You might not even be a human child if that’s what you wanted.
At this time, I still didn’t remember if I was a boy or girl—or should I say a woman or man—as an adult. I had equal desire to try either. Or both.
I felt that I could pull up a menu, and saw a list of scenarios I could choose from appear in front of me. Many had rather simple names. Scenarios as a child were simple, after all, but living them as a child again would actually be engrossing.
Scenarios listed in front of me included: “There there.” “Day at the park.” “Naptime.” “Tag, you’re it!” “Playground” “Sleepover.” No wait, there were many alternate of sleepover as you look at that one. That makes sense. The first one looked to be a vanilla scenario. Some were for different ages of children. Yet others had intriguing plot hints: “Helping a friend get over an embarrassing problem” being one. What was that about?
More mysteriously named ones were on the list. “Interdimensional Mining Company.” Oh, this one more easily allowed non-human forms. That scenario looks interesting, but a little complex and heavy. Yet, I felt attracted to it. Perhaps later.
Another bunch of titles crossed in front of me. “Accident.” Hopefully not a car accident. More likely, the kind that kids are more likely to hav—oh yes. Next to that one is “Bedwetting.” I guess people can have even fond memories about that, too. In fact, I guess not everyone wants happy scenarios, too. Perhaps, it’s just as satisfying to live as a child and experience negative emotions that way.
The list continued, and had items I felt like trying, but the system strongly suggested “There There” as the second scenario. I decided to choose it.
There, There. - Chapter 2
I opened my eyes. I knew that I was…or am? Or used to be? An adult. But upon opening my eyes, the first thing I saw was a hand. My hand. It was tiny. In fact, although my eyes weren’t as good as I was used to, I could see bars in front of me. And I was lying on colorful blankets.
I tried to get up, and could only push up a little bit, and try to see or sense more. I was wearing something quite soft and comfortable. Not just pajamas but…a sleeper? And I can tell, there was a diaper underneath. I tried to say something, and only heard a high-pitched “gah”. Not at all what I was used to.
The surprise started to get me worried, and as I tried to talk more and failed to be able to say anything, just babble. I was unable to stop my fear from gripping me enough that I started to cry. And even cried out.
I suddenly realized that part of the reason why adults can push down their feelings was because of their bodies and layers of brain capabilities that we learn as we grow. But now, I was a baby, at least for now. The rational part had no chance. The instinct of crying out when you’re afraid, and the complete inability to suppress it, was impossible in this small form. I heard a baby crying, and I realized it was me.
I fell back down again, rolling a bit as I cried, and heard the door open—not being able to see far in this small baby form. Focusing your eyes comes as a baby gets bigger, at least, what’s what my adult rational brain remembered. Not that knowing helped, I finally just gave in and wailed, crying more completely than I think any adult has the luxury of being able to let go.
“Oh, what’s wrong?” I heard a gentle voice say, as I felt myself picked up. “Did you wake up from your nap and get scared of something?”
I was held against a woman wearing a fluffy robe. No, not just a woman, my mother.
Wait. That still wasn’t right. My mommy.
“There, there.” She said, as she cradled me against her. She sat down in a chair in the room and started to rock back and forth.
She patted me on the back and I started to calm down. Crying like this when I was scared, being tended to, cradled, it was, I realized, something all of us need. Something that I dearly needed.
This was another timeless moment. A state that adults rarely can achieve without drugs, alcohol, or, artificial means. People who can get there without those means spend lifetimes learning how to do what you get as a child from your first moments, alive.
Someone who cares for you who will pick you up, hold them to their chest, and say: “There, there.” Where you can feel their heartbeat, and yours slows down as you are held, and know you are fully loved. As you’re told everything is alright, and you can’t help but believe it, so that everything slows down as your troubles float away.
And the feelings of being able to let myself go completely, cried completely, and was ultimately calmed by being held by this woman and rocked in a chair.
I closed my eyes, and fell asleep again.
The scenario ended.
It was a long time before I could choose something else as my next one. But next time, I promised myself, I would try to keep my rational self out of the way and more completely fall into the world that I dearly needed to visit again.