Reality City, Somewhere Else

realitycity districts colored

Reality City began as a place to get away from the world, and I incepted its home when I was 17. For too long, I had let my angst get the better of me, constantly tugging at my thoughts in the middle of the day as I sat in classrooms at my high school; all amount of things vain, vapid, and ultimately trivial in the grand scheme of the world. High school is no place to complain, at least I can say that much now, but being in high school forced me to find a happy place far away from the real world.

So, on an enterprising evening when I was very down on myself, I wired up rope lights in my bedroom to play to the beat of my sound system. They would be provided voltage at the rate bass was being pumped into the floor, so slow songs with very drawn-out notes would illicit lights that would taper off into blackness again.

There, burning incense and meditating on everything, I found Somewhere Else. In poems I defined Somewhere Else as exactly what its name might suggest, but as I thought about it more and more the creator in me gave it form, gave it conflict. Somewhere Else was an empty place until I started exploring it, and so Somewhere Else manifested in my head as a place that you had to discover by exploring its dimensional wastes.

In the hills deep from the point you enter Somewhere Else is Reality City: home to the nodes of thought that build what we think as individuals. To me, Reality City is all my own. I understood it as my own way of thinking, and every thought I have can be traced to a street, can be traced to a district of Reality City.

When I began writing poetry and publishing it, I called my endeavor Radio Reality City and claimed the station as The Host. Broadcasting to the citizens of Reality City.

I hadn’t been forced to really dive into it, as the lore, as the world, until just recently. A lot of content creators I’ve tuned in to have said it’s incredibly important to have on hand a connected creative universe. It allows an artist to tie in content from their own past. As events in my life have come to pass, I decided it would be a missed opportunity to not incorporate my real world into Reality City. It almost makes sense to do that, doesn’t it?

That’s when the building began, and Radio Reality City took on a new age as a metacognitive artifact to represent myself as a person, and my collective experiences. I made it because I was afraid of losing my memory or forgetting any part of myself. I wrote poetry and took photographs.

Reality City consists of six districts. Indigo, Destiny, Un, Memory, Verisum, and Currency. There is also Downtown, expressed as the centerpoint of the entire city.

Indigo is a place for the highest of energy. It is the district of action, willpower, and ultimate ability. Because of this, the only residents are androids, built from the thoughts that others can’t execute on. They participate in large scale demolition competitions where teams of the androids will build massive skyscrapers and then destroy them in record time. As an example of what kinds of things Indigo is capable of.

Destiny doesn’t exist. Well, it does, but not conventionally. Destiny is a vast meadow, bordered by Indigo to the west and Un to the southeast. But in this meadow, possibilities phase in and out of time. People I haven’t met. Places I haven’t seen. All things that could be, but aren’t yet. It’s scary to stay in Destiny for any length of time. You could run into someone you’re not supposed to. Or you could turn yourself into something that isn’t yet.

Un is for those who never were. Citizens from Destiny who were never realized or those from Memory who fall to decoherence. They could have been a possibility, or they could have been something that happened, but for whatever reason they are subjected to decaying in Un. The ghetto of Reality City, truly.

Memory isn’t much better off, but some people there think more fondly of what they are. Where Unners aren’t, Memorians were. They can at least reflect on an existence of some variety, but because of that they’re prone to chasing those eras where they could say they were tangible. Memory is home to lavish casinos, vices of all kinds, and a population that would rather drown itself than face the executioner at the end of the city.

Verisum is quantum decoherence. The road between Memory and Currency is a place of misery and uncertainty. Its primary place in Reality City is to serve as that bridge, that transition. A 75-mile walk from presence to past or vice versa. It can be morose. It can be macabre. Some rage against this inevitability, and so shanty towns have cropped up along the roads to comfort travelers as well as house the unwilling. An altering reality does not often come with immediate acceptance.

Currency is where things are. The now, the modern, the everything happening. Lakes, coffee shops, cars, drones, all the conventional things that we might think of as luxuries now exist at an attainable state here, not as a comfort but as a simple declaration of its place in Reality City. If you are, you’re in Currency.

Downtown is a cross section of all of the above, home to the administrative buildings that govern each district. No one person in any of the districts can be relied upon to rule over their respective home, so they all commute to the administration’s tower, Glass. The structures here are massive, dwarfing all but those in Indigo, making the skyline of Reality City a stark contrast against the empty, uncharted greys of Somewhere Else.

The residents all appear in Somewhere Else as results of unimaginable things, and all find their way to Reality City one way or another. They can be Roman centurions, space truckers, baristas from 2015, or from a place no one can imagine at all. Because of this, Reality City represents everything that has, is, and can be. Their talents are used to place them in the district that best represents themselves, but they all appear from my life or creative thought. People I know, don’t know, could know, have known, and will know. Surrounded by the impossibilities of existing in the same dimensional space.

I can wake up in the morning and know I’m in Indigo. I know what it feels like for someone in my life to walk from Currency to Memory, to Un, and then through Downtown back to Currency again. Beyond Reality City is Radio Reality City, where I broadcast from, and beyond me is Somewhere Else. Where my thought processes melt into the infinite machine created by the unbound.

This world has found its way into all aspects of me. I can tell when something becomes a part of Reality City when I write poems about it. People, places, feelings, experiences, all get catalogued. No matter how weak or strong in impact, if it deserves immortalization, it will be found in Radio Reality City.