Programmed Human

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I reached into you through your chest, waiting for you to go limp and unconscious. You stared at me blankly. I have seen you smile twice. You have smiled twice at me. And not at me. You have smiled twice to me. And not to me. You have smiled twice at something over my shoulder, something very far away from us.


Inside of you it is not warm. There is nothing warm inside of your chest and I ponder where all your childhood memories have gone. Where are the memories of lollipops and roller coasters and warm things like that? Where are the memories of pushing me against the walls, resting your forehead against mine, kissing my eyelids? Where are they? Am I anywhere in here?


There are wires and I tear them out through your chest, tangling myself in them, wrapping my legs in the coils and coils of wires that explode out of your pale ribs. I cannot find myself in here. The wires just keep coming and I pull your chest apart until there is a hole big enough for me to stare into. There are black wires and silver wires and thin ones and big ones and long ones and short ones and they seem to go on forever and you’re staring blankly down at the top of my head. And I kneel and push my face against your chest, blinking into the hole, trying to find where I belong. There is no space in here for me. There is no space for you to hold me close. There is no space in here for me. In here, for me, there is no space.


You are programmed as I am not. This is the only reason you continue to stare blankly at me, stroking my hair in automatic gestures. “Sophia, why are you looking in there?” you ask me. You ask me this and I look up into your blank eyes and I can see back into your mind. There is something light behind them and for a moment, I think I see a space for myself to crawl into you, but it is just a light bulb hanging there and that’s all it is. All it ever will be. There’s only a light bulb illuminating the wires that hang down your throat into you chest cavity. It’s just a light, but it radiates no heat. There is no heat in here. The light bulb is too bare and there is fear. It is the light bulb illuminating a torture chamber of wires that you are strangling me in, drowning me in your programmed, automatic, robotic responses that you call emotions. These are not emotions. These are something that a computer put into you. These are coded in numbers and repeating digits. These are your armor. These are your anti-secrets. There’s nowhere in here for secrets. You don’t have any unless they’re hidden in your legs and fingers, which I doubt. There is no room for anything anymore.


I reach my hand further into you, trying to locate where you heart should be, but there are just more wires, elbow deep in wires, shoulder deep in wires, and I can feel it now, a small cage, a birdcage of chrome metal, ominously lit by the barren light bulb hanging in your head. There is something cold here, not lukewarm like the rest of your body; just cold. My fingers are freezing and I almost pull my arm back out, fear of frostbite attacking my body, slowly sliding up my arms until my chest is as cold as yours. I never want to be cold like this. I never want this. I never want to be you. I want the control you have, I want the talent you have, but never would I want this pain, freezing pain. Never would I want this. I want you. I want to wrap you in blankets and hold you and make this ache disappear for you. I need you to hand me the key to this cage. It might be a smile or a scream. A real one. One without the wires behind it. You would never consent to this. You would never stoop so low.


This cage is what I’ve needed. I can just barely reach my pink finger through the tight bars without getting burned by the cold that is radiating, seeping through my entire body, seeping into my toes, every strand of my hair freezing off, breaking away. You still look at me blankly, trying to figure out what in god’s name I’m doing with my entire arm disappearing into your chest. From afar, no one would understand. I wonder if you know what I’m looking for. I’m just looking for somewhere to hole up inside of here so that you can keep me forever, a piece of me forever. If my finger broke off right now it would disappear into your wires forever, but at least you’d have me, part of me for eternity. Maybe I have to give you a physical fragment of myself since giving part of me emotionally didn’t do much. I was just a message sent from one wire to another until it had died. The message was gone. The message is gone.


This cage. I know what’s in here. It’s your heart. Your robotic heart and I cannot reach it, my pinky finger almost grazes the tissue but it’s just a bit too far. I try my ring finger but it doesn’t fit through he bars. And I am left here, reaching my pinky through the bars to reach something I cannot ever reach or leave a print on. I pull my arm back out, the heat hitting me in a beautiful, rapid wave, the light enveloping my body. I look at my finger, blackening from the cold, ready to break off. Under my fingernail is a piece of fleshy tissue, a scrap of your heart. Perhaps taking a piece of your heart is even better than feeding mine into a computer ready to crash. Perhaps I have won without knowing it. Perhaps I will continue to win. Perhaps you have won too. Perhaps I have real tissue instead of a computer chip buried under my nail. Perhaps I have you now. I reach inside my own chest and I place the small scrap of your heart in my own where there is lots of room for you to hole up inside of me.





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