I’m disgusted. To think that thing is out in the world, walking around, and no one knows about it.
You’re not a genius. I don’t care what you say. Every morning you fidget behind your newspaper and the sound of it cripples my senses—the ceaseless crackle and swish of paper pages being turned by nervous hands. You should be nervous. You don’t know what you put out there.
We don’t even know if it’s still operational. It’s been weeks. I hope it fell in the river. I’ve been hoping that ever since I saw you open its back. I don’t think I was truly bothered by it until that moment. I had seen it when it was all mechanics, but avoided your workroom for the part that came next: Its gestational period. That skin. When you peeled it back and I saw the wires I felt my dinner rise up in my throat. What a waste. You could be a genius if put to proper use. But this is like shooting a rocket ship into the ocean.
I stayed at my mother’s for a week. The week it found its voice and started walking around our house. I couldn’t scrub the floors hard enough after it left—there are not enough open windows to air out the stink of oil and lubricant.
I walk around town haunted. I look for new faces on the street, people I don’t recognize. I never saw its face. I don’t know what I’m looking for. A stranger in the crowd with a too-perfect gait, a rigid, toothy smile, eyes that don’t see anything.
I really hope it fell in the river.