I dreamed that I was with an old friend on a large elevator of a grand hotel owned by Bill Gates, going to the top. On the 80th floor, the top floor, the elevator opened into a sort of secret museum. Just one room, containing a lot of random geek memorabilia. It had a lot of original versions of video game consoles. Ataris, Sness, obscure Apples.
There was no curator, or security, or anybody really. Just random stuff behind glass. Not even little plaques explaining what the stuff was for. I wanted to go back down. It felt like trespassing. Whatever this was, it wasn’t for us. It was for Bill Gates, or some other rich people.
But my friend didn’t want to go back. He was saying random about the difficulty of old Nintendo games and kept messing with the elevator buttons.
Finally we heard someone mumbling, or was it chittering? Some noise, anyway, in the distance, so I figured, time to go right now, and I hit the button, and we started to go down, but then the elevator stopped, and then it started to go back up, like in a horror movie. We could hear people laughing now, also.
When reached the top again, I could see a face peering down from the top of the wall, which didn’t quite meet with the ceiling. There was someone there, though I couldn’t tell who, just bright eyes and an impish smile. I couldn’t think of anything else to do besides scale the elevator wall, as fast as I could, climbing onto a new secret floor-- the 81st floor. There I saw the man staring back at me, his eyes still shining. He had retreated ten feet. He was short, with a t-shirt, and a beard. There were other men there too, further back in the shadows. Not that they were hiding, exactly, just that the lighting was poor. As well as I could tell, all were short men, dressed in black, bearded, they reminded me a bit of gnomes or oompa-loompas, but they were not so short as Little People – more like 5 '1" to 5 '5", and their features were not so dramatically different from other people I know, it was just surprising that they all looked the same.
Anyway, they appeared uncertain, like they were as afraid of me as I was of them. So naturally I charged them, hoping to break what little resolve they had. Which worked-- they turn and ran, making some odd grunting or chittering sounds as they disappeared. Looking back I don’t think they really had any plan or scheme beyond the initial elevator button prank.
I wondered if they spoke any English at all, though I did not call out. Instead I continued to run after them, and found on the floor and tables lots of board games. Chess sets mostly, left in the middle of games, though other games too like Chinese Checkers or Chinese Chess or Go or else Chess boards with too many pieces. The only other noticeable furnishing were a few signs hanging from walls with the word “GEEK” stamped in large steel letters. To make a point of my aggression I kicked over a bunch of the pieces, upsetting a dozen games and puzzles before turning and retreating back to the elevator,
Gradually waking, I came to believe that it did all belong to Bill Gates. It was a sort of shrine to geekdom, worshipped by geeks. They lived together on that secret floor, and their job was to spend all day solving extremely difficult puzzles that all had no real world purpose, like a 100-move checkmate. They never left the shrine, because they never needed to. They were so devoted that they had forgotten how to interact in the outside world, even losing their grasp on language, at times even forgetting the purpose and rules of the games and puzzles that they obsessively tried to solve.
Why did it exist? It wasn’t exactly that Bill Gates loved geekdom. He knew it was a waste of time to obsess over video games and figurines and chess puzzles and abstract games. The shrine was his way of dealing with the obsession. Of literally compartmentalizing it. By assigning the gnomish men to these pointless jobs of game playing and problem solving, he was able to move on himself towards more industrious and charitable pursuits. Or at least that’s what he said to himself and his therapist. Eventually he forgot about it.