I awake. I think of breakfast. I post on Facebook about breakfast, and get a warm response. Yet no breakfast occurs. I become concerned that there are rats in the walls. My walls. Rats. There is an alternative explanation which seems too cut and dry. This is a world where rats in the walls are as plausible as any other explanation. I would be disappointed were there no rats in the walls. My walls. Those rats! It is not something I could accept. It is a good opening line for breakfast. “I have rats in my walls.”
Are these American rats, these rats in the wall? Are they outsiders looking to ingress or insiders looking to egress? Do they want my food? My breakfast? I punch a hole in the wall and cold air ingresses. The chill of the night invades the inner sanctum. I dance a dance of bitter cold. I shout out sanctimoniously. Rats have put a hole through my abode! Rats! Rats in the walls!
“Then no one shall have it!” said another monster, who was a friend, a foul-weather friend, of the first monster. “Anyone who complains shall have their sanity questioned!”
“Hear, hear!” said the number one monster, who finally felt validated by taking pleasure away from someone else. Which is what monsters do.
A third monster was paid 200 million dollars for formulating a policy paper explaining, breathlessly, why pleasure was being, must be, withheld from a large segment of the population, and why there was nothing that segment of the population could do about it. In fact, explaining how they were lucky.
The third monster was that kind of monster.
There are many kinds of monsters. They are a lot more supportive of each other than you might assume. They have to be. To get things done.
The bear ate a pear
You think, how debonair
But she wanted the eclair
Which was already eaten in a picnick-error
By a picnicker who was an au pair
But tasted like an upholstered chair
So the bear followed up by eating a pear
And slept that night without a care.
– From the little book of rhymes about well fed-up bears
I like to do math
It puts me back
On that evil left handed path
For what is math
That Wicked art
Which reduces all to that
Numeric flow chart
It sets one and one apart
Ripped from each other
With a cold math heart
And joins together randoms
Thereby forced to work in tandem
For the sake of the equation
Where the means justify the ends
On paper everything’s good and right
For no one cares of the numbers plight.
so this is chapter 1 of Sex Robots at the Edge of Infinity
This art stolen from Richard F. Yates, C’mon, click it.
“You’re interested in sex robots,” said the manual. “And who wouldn’t be?” It was a rhetorical question. Who wasn’t interested in sex robots? “Fifty years ago they were the wave of the future and today they are what keeps humanity sane.”
The manual was outdated but it was still true. All of it was true. A manual doesn’t survive in today’s world to be an out of date manual, one which hasn’t been pulped and recycled many times over, if its contents are not true – unless its contents are meant to give hope. Real hope–false hope, and, as everyone knows, most hope is false hope. The occasional doling out of hope was an exception to the truism. Always has been. Always will be. It is a cosmic continuity. While the universe is not kind sometimes it can appear ambivalent. Sometimes that is enough. Sometimes it will throw you a lifeline. By accident. Sometimes that lifeline will drag you down with relief. It’s a cosmic joke.
Friedman’s nose was in the book. He was a man very much interested in sex robots. And who wasn’t? Who wasn’t.
He owned an Avant-garde model. An antique. Interesting, if you’ve an eye for history. If you can be sold on tradition over functionality. If you are a nostalgic bent connoisseur of the past; like in olden times when a person would buy a fancy sport car which broke down all the time and wasn’t reliable at all and needed special tools. And owning it made the person feel happy even though it wasn’t functional and it did nothing to please, in fact quite the opposite. But the person would dote upon the car, where it inevitably sat in a climate controlled garage – safe from traffic, roads, pedestrians, and road wear. The person began to love the car, though the car had done nothing to earn the receipt of said love. And the car did nothing to give love back. Some historians declare that this nonreciprocal love is the purest love of all. Nothing to dirty it up. It was honest.
This was how men started to love machines. And when I say men love machines I say it in a universal way. Because women also love machines. And buy love machines to love. And men buy love machines to love. Sometimes they are the same types of machines and sometimes they are differentiated machines. Meant for one or the other. But sometimes with attachments. All the best machines have attachments.
It costs more. But it’s worth it.
The casual reader might wonder about the lack in English of more gender-neutral pronouns. Neuters. But the philosophers among you have determined that this book is about love. And philosophers have no idea what love is. It’s a dubious subject.
I ask only that you come with me on a journey.
But mine does not. For as of almost a week ago it is dead. I mean I still have it, but the insides hold at 68°. And rising. It’s where I store the room temperature food.
A new one will be delivered tomorrow. A no-frills version – according to the repairman and three salesman at three stores the new refrigerant is more corrosive than Freon and burns out compressors, and they declared my 8 1/2 year-old fridge to be “A good life span.” And I said “then there’s no reason to buy anything but the cheapest cheap fridge. Since they’re not built to last anyway.” Why pay for the fancy stuff that will keep working even after the compressor renders your refrigerator a room temperature box?
PS, since I have an abandoned refrigerator stationed in my kitchen I guess I have to be on the lookout for roving bands of street urchins who may wish to play inside. Next to the homemade sauerkraut.