robots with skin

We are our own drones.

The urgent hum of people-cogs, twisting (slick and oiled) in the vast, robotic body of civilization. We are listless white collars, the self-deprecating bourgeoisie, the judgers and the judged. An expressionless army. Our uniforms, indicative of our military rank. Our weapons, now in the form of iPhones. Our battle wounds, deep and festering in our minds. We seek a simple life, a blank happiness – but our eyes, hungry and glazed, look at it every day from far, far away.

But what can I say – we are just robots with skin – the mechanical battalion of the world.

Machine-like – lungs whirring, bones clicking, stomach refuelling, clunk, clunk, clunk. Programmed to follow a code or destined to malfunction.

Some of us drown in our expectations, but most of us drown in the expectations that we never met. You’re a doctor, a lawyer (jealous applause) or a boy who left school because his father died and is now a depressed alcoholic (smug condolences). You have a family, or you prefer to immerse yourself in your work and stay alone. No matter what, judgement is a pervasive animal.

You might power your systems on alcoholic fuel, evoking your fires until you burn – charred and smoking. Or perhaps you know that your daughter is crying in a hotel bathroom, a stash of fairy dust in her hand, her heart bleeding out on the tiles. But let’s block all of it out.

Our lives are an electronic timetable, our love sent in emoticons, our children slaves to their binary shells.

But we are moral people. We are good. Altruistic. Giving.

Brown, eco-friendly coffee cups (oil spills and plastic nets), feminism (sexualisation) , donations to charities (late night gambling and dirty economics), the perfect family man (has three other girlfriends).

Nihilism is always a tempting thought. But I would like to think positively.

There’s always the soft glow of morning seeping through windows. The trembling flowers, the lime-green grass, the musky scent of rain against a hot pavement. The shriek of your first child as it gurgles at you under a fluorescent light. The comfort of a bed, a hot meal, an honest conversation. The tender touch and whispers of a lover.

And if you ever malfunction someday, wait till night comes.

Look at the stars, and realise that the day they disappear…

Is the day you will too.


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