Little Robot iii

September 1, 2009

On the way to the subway station I realized how beat up the little guy was.
His antenna was crooked and his joints would squeak, he was flaky with rust and his dim eyes would flicker on and off.

But his mind seemed as sharp as could be.

“Three dollars and twenty-two cents” he said in the quiet, careful voice of a shy child.

I had just pulled out a pocketful of change at the ticket kiosk and was amazed. Not only by the immediate prowess of the little robot’s mind, but by the fact that up until that moment, he hadn’t said a word.

As I was buying my ticket, he spoke up again.

“Can you buy a ticket for me, too?”

“But you are a robot. Robots do not need tickets to ride the train. Only humans do.”

“Please?”

I could not resist when he looked up at me with those big glass eyes.

*

At North Hollywood Station, I departed from my friends and said my goodbyes, and my little robot and I climbed into my father’s van, where my father apprehensively asked who the kid in the costume was.

“He is my robot. I found him at a thrift store.”

“Why does he look so sad?”

My little robot only stared blankly at the window, at his own reflection cast in the glass over the amassing clouds and the first raindrops
of spring.

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