Oddly, a clock radio just started doing its insistent beep, beep, beep… alarm in the program assistant’s cubicle just next to my office. No one else is in the office at the moment–she had gone upstairs to do some errands–so I walked over and hit the snooze button, and then found the switch to turn the alarm off completely. What made this particularly odd–besides the strangeness of an alarm clock going off at 10 a.m. in the office–was that it had that generic clock radio alarm sound, so it sounded like my own clock radio at home. And for several moments I just sat there, my heart starting to beat faster, with a bizarre and uncomfortable feeling that my morning had been only a dream of already having awakened, showered, shaved, dropped Jeff off at the subway, driven to work, finished a report, and engaged in conversations with my co-workers, and that I was about to wake up to find that I still had my morning ablutions and the full workday ahead of me; I already was a little sleep-deprived this morning, which made hearing this unexpected yet very familiar alarm sound even more surreal.
A quarter-hour later, I still feel vaguely unsettled, like I’m potentially trapped inside a recursive series of dreams from which I’ll never fully awaken, or like I’ve just had an uncertain peripheral glimpse of the green alphanumeric characters making up the world my consciousness really inhabits.