“Look around you and choose an object in the room. Now write something from the point of view of that object.”
A small child walks past me, intent in a conversation with herself. I can’t often tell what they’re saying when they come in here because of the voices swirling around my circuitry, but I can tell that this one is pretty excited. She bounces on the balls of her feet like she’s ready to spring, and I hope she doesn’t turn in my direction. She really shouldn’t be looking at me right now. Her time is up for today.
Most days I sit here looking at a man instead, a man I’ve known for four years, a man who has changed probably the most of anyone else who comes into this room. He spends a lot of his time seated in one corner of the couch with his technology around him, and even on him, until it almost appears that he’s become one with it, that it’s growing out of him. He hardly ever talks when he’s in this room except to sometimes laugh at some of the things that come from me. But I can’t see those things, and the voices just aren’t as funny if you can’t see the actions.
But right now this child with the curly hair is sneaking glances at me, dressed in a pale blue nightgown, meaning she really should be in another room, the room for sleep. Sometimes the people who come into this room sleep here, on the couch, and occasionally on the floor, but I can tell that the purpose of this room isn’t sleep. It’s a place to entertain and to be entertained, but more of the latter than the former, and I’m the centerpiece of most of that entertainment. Sometimes I catch my reflection in the glasses on the man’s face, and I can see some part of what they see. At those moments I am in awe of myself.
I sleep too, you know. I could be in the middle of listening to the voices and watching the people move about the room (or sit still, whatever is their prerogative), and suddenly, like a narcoleptic I pass out. I hear no voices and I see absolutely nothing. Most times I’m out for at least 8 hours. I know because I have an internal clock. But sometimes it’s longer, and I remember nothing from these times. In fact, I am a bit annoyed that I miss whatever happens in this room when I’m not awake to chronicle it. Just as I entertain them, these people entertain me with their movements, with their jokes, and in their interactions with each other.
And I know this won’t last forever, so I try to soak in all their faces now because they keep changing, flickering in and out of focus like firelight. The world is changing and as permanent as I may seem now, something newer and better is coming, or may already be here, so I’m going to cling to these memories for as long as I can. Or as long as the remote stays pointed in another direction anyway.