Let’s play spot the reference.
‘Would you like to not be alone anymore? Press ‘Yes’ to confirm companionship.exe’
The dialogue box presented itself on the wall of my bedroom. I stared at it, pondering what it could mean. In the eighteen years I’ve lived here, my house has never run a prompt like this, much less started a process to keep me from being alone.
My finger hesitated over the confirmation button. It’s been eighteen years. Why hasn’t my house run this function yet? Did it not know that I was lonely? It had learned my dislikes, my preferences, what song I want to play when I bathe, how I like my lights dimmed in the evening, and even when to turn on the sprinklers for my garden.
What kind of companionship could the house offer? If I can go without human contact for he majority of my life, I’m sure I can live the rest of it without contact as well. Still, the possibilities ran through my mind. If I wanted to be alone again, I could always tell the house to let me be alone again, right?
After a few minutes ticked by, I hit the ‘yes’ button. My curiosity had gotten the best of me, yet again. Let’s see what companionship.exe does.
Almost immediately, I could hear the supercomputer in the basement begin to whir. Electricity seemed to fill the air as companionship.exe was executed. I’ve had he house run processes this heavy before, but something seemed much different about this one. I heard a faint clanking noise from the basement, and instead of worrying, I sat down on the edge of my bed and took a deep breath.
For what seemed like an eternity, but really only was about half an hour or so, the house buzzed with life as it ran this mysterious process. Distant banging sounds rang through the house every few minutes as it put together something. From what I know about the house, I figured it was some kind of dinky robot or advanced hologram system.
What walked through my door was neither of those.
It didn’t even knock before entering. My head snapped up from my lap as I saw the being in my doorway. There was no way that he was human, since I know my house built him for me, but…
He leaned in the doorway, sunglasses on even though we were inside. He raised on hand, lazily waving at me before pushing aside some of his soft looking, platinum blonde hair.
‘Sup’ indeed. I got up, heart pounding as I made my way over to him. He didn’t seemed phased by my sudden intrusion of his personal space when I gently touched his clothes, his arms, or even ran my fingers across his cheek.
Synthetic skin overtop a metal skeleton. He felt so real. Almost human.
“What are you doing?” He stepped back, shaking his head. “At first I just wanted to see where you were going with this shit, but if I’m gonna live here with you, you can’t be fondling me all the damn time.”
Now that he’s speaking, I got a good taste of his voice. It was a sort of deep, but not quite, with a certain elegance behind it.
That night, I took my new friend outside. We sat on the fourth floor balcony, feet hanging out over the forest below us. For the first time in eighteen years, I was having a real conversation with someone.
His name is David, and his programming makes him thinks he’s human.