My little robot stands like a giant, breaths like a dog that has Arthritis
My little robot, made in a big steel box, shaded and shaved from metal
Bits to outside trimmings. My robot talks with beeps and mechanical whirs
I speak to my little robot, and it speaks back, but hears nothing of what I have to say
Shrouded in Mechanical suspense, it patrols in front of my bed, outside the house with sensors that have never shed tears, or squinted at the sun. A compact unit that looks up with bright eyes, bumping around my kneecaps.
I call my little robot Ben.
Ben likes nothing, maybe to sit out on the lawn and play robot games, but as far as I know, Ben likes nothing. Next to my nightstand he is vigilante, propped up against the world, right before I wake up gently pulling me to life.
On my birthday, a cupcake sloppily slumped next to my breakfast. For Christmas, a precision wood carving of half my face. The day I lost my job, a beeping and clicking rendition of my favorite song.
They say he can’t
Breaking and facing that lamentation that rings so true
My little robot can’t feel, can’t plea for help
My little robot still patrols while I sleep on cardboard in an alley
My little robot watches while I lose my mind
The rain still sings when it falls. Crumpled bills and thoughts start to collect around me and before I know it there is a mountain. I think I can hear the universe breathing, while Ben makes shapes and structures out of old cans. Ben is still there, a clear and simple box and those gauges and lights that look like a blurry face if I squint right. Ben doesn’t squeak the same way, Ben doesn’t beep the same way.
My little robot is fading. I had a sudden and stabbing moment of clarity. With not enough money to mangle my brain, I looked down and saw this rusted and fading box. Ben with a light missing and a switch gone. He never looked this way, never before. I fell to my knees and cradled that little body. The beeps that were so familiar were so slow. A crunching, bumping mechanical ruckus that rattles with violence. Ben flickers and with a last ebb of energy, starts my favorite song.
My little robot was human.