14 Sep 2013

What did the dolphin say?

“What did the dolphin say to you Mark?”

Mark Zuckerberg detected a hint of condescension in Tim Maddow’s voice but he was more concerned that the desks be rearranged to his specification than to let any of his focus set upon Tim’s attitude towards the proceedings.

“It’s written on…” Mark Zuckerberg found the notepaper he had written out what he could remember of the dolphin’s speech and gave it to Tim, who would be playing the role of the dolphin once they finally had the desks arranged in the shape of a yacht. Tim turned and paced and murmured the words Mark had written out at 3:44am (approximately six hours ago) when he had awoken from the dream.

“Put your feet down with pollen. Put your hands down with pollen. Put your head down with pollen. Now your feet are pollen; now your hands are pollen; now your head is pollen… What does this even mean Mark?”

Mark huffed and spun towards him, jabbing a finger towards Tim’s chest: “That’s what we’re trying to figure out, obviously.” He directed his attention towards Emma Thirlbiene from HR and an intern she had brought with her; they were each holding semi-filled water cooler bottles. “Okay queue the waves,” he said, and they both began tipping the large bottles back and forth. “No that’s too calm, it was rough, rough seas.” They shook the water bottles back and forth more violently, only moderately succeeding in reproducing the sound of the heavy swell from Mark’s dream. He considered getting more staff to do the sound effects, more bottles, maybe in six-channel surround sound, but he felt there wasn’t enough time.

He cycled the words in his head: “Put your feet/hands/head down with pollen.” He climbed onto the desks that now stood in for the damaged 40-ft. yacht upon which Mark had found himself adrift and alone. In the dream it had felt like months. He remembered reading an article about why dreams feel like much longer than the time the person actually experiences R.E.M. but he pushed the thought out of his mind.

“Okay I think we’re ready,” he said and his father handed him a blindfold and smiled warmly at him as Mark tied it around his head and sank into the endless dark horizon. He awaited the dolphin’s words.

“Mark? Are you sleeping?” Francesca’s voice intruded.

She was standing at his office doorway. The world came swirling back. He blinked away sleep and looked out his window to see that it was dusk, then he looked at his computer screen to see the email he had been writing.


When he fell asleep he must have rested his head on the keyboard, specifically the spacebar. He wondered how long. He scrolled up through the autosaved draft: it was screens and screens and screens of empty space.