Writer in Residence · 01/17/2011

The Robot is Glad to Hear Your Merry Christmas

in response to “Waste Extraction” by AD Jameson

The robot is glad to hug back. The robot is glad to listen for hours, and never say a word. The robot is glad to talk for hours, too, but the robot is glad to take turns. The robot is glad to cook dinner or, when you’re in the mood to do the cooking, the robot is glad to do the dishes. The robot is glad to make love, glad to perform oral sex. The robot is glad to order a latte.

The robot is glad to run errands for you. The robot is glad to field frantic phone calls, to add more to the list, glad stop by FedEx Kinko’s, pick up a new package of diapers, stop by the bank, return the videos, go back to the store for more pistachios. The robot is glad to come home and put these things away.

The robot is glad to burp the baby, glad to dance it to sleep. The robot is glad to listen to Fleetwood Mac while dancing the baby to sleep. The robot is glad to swing the baby between its thin real legs and to bounce it side to side. The robot is glad to work the drive-thru window, glad to eat from a tin of emergency homeopathic pastilles. The robot is glad to come straight home after work, glad to drive past the bars full of very human real people falling into one another with Christmas spirits leaking from their very human real pores, rubbing their very human real genitals against their very human real pant-legs. The robot is glad you bought him real robot pants to wear. The robot is glad he smells like Thai food. The robot is glad you took his fake ID.

The robot is glad the apartment is a mess, glad to shed his clothing, the contents of his pockets, glad to leave a trail of the day’s gathered rubbish from the front door to your bedroom where he is glad to pull back the sheets, knowing you’re too asleep to notice. The robot is glad to find your body there, the middle gone soft, but the legs so strict to their old shape that you still look like a runner. The robot is glad to climb in bed beside you and feel you cling to the robot. The robot is glad to kiss you when you find his very cold metal robot body with your very cold human real arms and cling. The robot is glad to cling back.

The robot is glad to hear your “Merry Christmas,” glad you are able to say it without really waking. The robot is glad the baby is asleep in the other room, nearly one year old. The robot is glad it is no longer a year and a half ago, glad the choices made were made. The robot is glad his future is decided, glad to wait things out. The robot is aware there is nothing to look forward to in his own life, only in that of others. The robot is glad to stay awake, glad to think of things from different angles, glad to do this for hours, clinging. The robot is glad tomorrow is a new day. The robot is glad he did not always love you, glad everything that happened between the two of you over the last two years was like figuring out how to stop yourself while rolling down hill, glad you learned together how to stand for a moment, the drop no less steep beneath you. The robot is glad love is not a thing robots think too much about. The robot is glad your one year-old baby will maybe be able to tear open her present tomorrow, maybe not. The robot is glad for that maybe. The robot is glad to die in his sleep, or not. The robot is glad, too, to go on living.

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posted by First Footing