I’ve been dreaming about unicycles lately.
But, like, electric motorized ones. People riding them pass by me as I meander city sidewalks in my slumber. The wheels are big, three and a half to four feet in diameter, wide enough for some real stability. The saddle rises up over the middle, with struts attaching it to the non-rotating hub of the wheel – which I imagine also houses the electric motor.
In the dreams in which they appear, the unicycles are ubiquitous. They fill the same niche as the city- or privately-owned bicycles and scooters you find rentable in many urban areas these days. Scan the QR and pay through an app to ride in questionable style for minutes, hours, half a day.
I’m not really sure how the riders steer the damn things, if I’m honest. Nor do I have any solid thoughts on the practicality of such whimsical modes of transit.
But they’ve shown up in several dreams now, and in the way of dreams the mind just sort of accepts it, takes it as a given thing, much the way the mind reacts to those damned scooters. I don’t like the scooters. People always just leave them in the way. The ginormous unicycles, at least, would be harder to manhandle into unsanctioned positions.
Now for the past few days I’ve been contemplating them as items of worldbuilding. What sort of planet invents this contraption? What sort of cityscape welcomes their use? What sort of people scan that QR code and heave themselves upon that saddle?
Eventually, one of two end-states to this idle line of thought will emerge. Either I’ll get nowhere, and the musing will slide into gradual nothingness, after which I’ll forget all about the unicycles. Or answers to the questions of my previous paragraph will form in my mind, and I’ll have the beginnings of a new setting about which to discover stories to tell.
This was a post about the creative process, you see.