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“There are fewer metaphors around than people think.” -- Terry Pratchett Small Gods

Her eyes were oceans of possibility. Blue and depthless.

And I was shipwrecked.

A fallen eyelash crushed the sails and within moments my ship foundered in the shoals of the iris. When I climbed, half drowned, upon the pupil, I was looking straight down into her optic nerve.

I almost puked.

Which is not a good thing when wearing the Radiculous 3000, a very expensive haptic suit. No, puking in gear that virtually amplified all your senses would be uber foul, not to mention costly to clean. So, I choked back my vertigo and lunch and tried to figure out how I was going to get off Marilyn Monroe.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one trapped on the miles-long icon that some hackstar had mic-dropped into the waters off New South Seoul last night. That kind of thing was happening all over the metaverse. Coders trying to make or keep their fame, à la Warhol and Banksy, with ever crazier creations. A lot more ancient mythical creatures made sense to me now. A Hydra or Medusa doesn’t seem so outlandish next to a pop icon whose hair is now its own Sargasso Sea.

Yup. Things were getting tangled, and I was certainly part of the problem. I’d taken the clickbait, wanting to be the first to stare into metaMarilyn’s acre-wide eyes. You never knew what portal or pitfalls awaited. It felt like old-time exploring, where-no-one-has-gone-before adventuring, because-it’s-there questing. But, without ever having to leave your comfy couch.

A brave new world, or a cowardly old refuge? Constructing alternate realities, cutting the ultimate umbilical cord, and, literally, living the dream.

Were there boundaries anymore?

Evidently, not on Manhattan-sized Marilyn. I climbed to the tip of her nose and gazed toward her stardust painted toenails bobbing just above the ocean swell. More virts were already landing and starting to claim their pound of digital flesh. Soon metaMarilyn would be colonized and the rush would be on to find the next big thing. The next unspoiled dream.

Was there such a thing?

Where was the magic in wanting, in having, in being, everything?

I leapt from Marilyn’s nose, hoping to be kissed by inspiration before I was swallowed into the belly of our beast.

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