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…

…I know.

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.

I can’t.