Slowly my eyes open and I appear to be staring at the ceiling in a very, very white, bright room.
Relaxing harp music can be heard and for a moment I’m tempted to drift off back to sleep until over a rather loud tannoy booms a voice “Room 6 make your way to the front desk”.
Where am I?
I seem to have no recollection of anything.
Swinging my legs over the side of the bed I look down and see that I am wearing a white tunic and legging ensemble in a rather questionable shiny polyester and have silver Crocs on my feet. I have always hated Crocs I remember that much.
Not being the only person in the room I follow the crowd out and follow the signs which say ‘Front Desk’.
The man behind me taps me on the shoulder and politely says “If you don’t mind,” and promptly overtakes me and heads to the desk marked ‘Click and Collect’. “I’ve already made my choice and pre-ordered” and with that disappears off to the front of the other queue. Apart from a white dog collar around his neck he is dressed the same as everybody else.
Having patiently waited in line with very little chit-chat passing between those in the queue I finally reach the front desk.
“Take this pen” said a rather disinterested woman “and head over to one of those booths and choose from the lifestyles available then head over to the ordering booth and type in your selection. Congratulations you have moved from level C to level B. Still human, but you have better options this time around.”
In the booth I look at the little blue pen and notice the end has been chewed. Not good.
For a moment I try and think where I am and why am I here, but my mind is still absolutely blank. No idea who I am, where I came from and even less idea of where I am now and where I am going.
What I do know is I need to make choices using this little blue pen.
In front of me is a large laminated book whose pages are held together with metal rings. ‘Laminated Book of Dreams’ is all it says on the front cover. I turn the page see contents and turn to section B.
Everything is very colourful with pictures of World Leaders, Field Marshals and even Royalty.
After much reading and pondering I choose Prime Minister. The choices are pretty amazing but Prime Minister sounds like a good choice. Working with people, comes with a house and even if you have no idea what you are doing or if you make a mistake nothing really happens and once you lose your job people then pay you lots of money to write a book and talk at corporate events. Apparently you don’t even need qualifications!
Suitably content with my choice I head over to the ordering booth and type in the number and code of my ‘life choice’ from the Book of Dreams. Nothing happens to begin with then the screen above the keypad comes to life flashing the words….
“Sorry the lifestyle you ordered is currently of stock please try again”.
The theme for this piece was “Reincarnation”, but I wanted to add some contemporary references. ‘The Laminated Book of Dreams’ is what the comedian Bill Bailey calls the Argos catalogue and the little blue pen is what people use to fill in the forms once they have chosen their items. “Sorry the lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock” is a graffiti mural by Banksy originally found on the side of an empty building in Canary Wharf in 2011.