Hey, check this out she says, and when I turn around I see her legs inside two broken pieces of drainpipe. It makes me walk like a robot, she grins, and then she staggers towards me making weird noises like the grinding of cogs and gears eating each other. Nzzzh nzzzh nzzzh… …what!?
I’m beaming a high wattage smile at her. Partly because of the absurdity of what I’m seeing – as I sit here I wonder if I need to be there, to grab an elbow when she inevitably falls. But mostly because it makes sense. Sure; find two lengths of plastic tube and wear them like stiff waders. Why not?
You’ll hurt yourself I offer, attempting to sound sage as she shuffles towards me, still making noises. After a few aborted attempts to sit normally, she allows herself to fall backwards onto the low wall next to me, her plastic legs stretching out.
I had a dream about this…
She always talks in her sleep. Last night I woke up in the early hours underneath a window full of stars and a dead arm. Her head nestled in the crook of my elbow, completely bloodless and with a faint trail of drool from her chin following my empty veins. She mumbled I am a robot… I am a robot… not with sadness, but triumphant realisation.
Take those fucking things off.
She leans forward as though trying to touch her toes, legs bolted out, and laughs.