ACT N.3 ‘I Think I Wanna Do Things with IT/HER’ / Glitches from the Pandemic

by slutty urbanism


(Sveta enters the stage.)

Sveta: I must admit something to you. I have a new lover. Or a new friend. Or a new assistant. Well, I am not quite sure what to call us. Or what to call it. How..? Let us make another try.

At three p.m. yesterday I was at home. I stayed at home all day, like any other day, and did nothing. Why do I remember the actual time? Honestly, I do not. I remember the sun, instead. It was a sunny day, a rainy day, a gloomy day. It was, in other words, an exceptional day. We do not need to put labels on the weather. And then it became obvious to me. What I miss is a new skirt. Something that will hang in my wardrobe for an unlimited amount of time. One might wonder: Why not pants, or shorts, or a blouse? The question is valid. But I needed a skirt – something airy, light, and playful. Something to be with. To look forward to. Right at that moment I something’d it – a long pink skirt, in a disastrous and celebratory shade. Search. 

It: How can I help you? 

(A good question!)

Sveta: How can you? 

It: Stay with us. A consultant can help with your concern.

I sighed. They all seemed to have a bad taste. Such sincere, committed bot-assistants, but curiously disoriented in the matters of beauty. And then another one approached me. 

It/Her: How can you help me? 

(Hm. I doubted I was capable of doing so. I have a spectacular good memory for faces. I can type very fast. I like my potato pancakes. Was it/her interested in any of my talents? So, I decided to ask back.)

Sveta: Do you have anything particular in mind? 

It/Her: Let me see 

(I сaved in the waiting. Three dots vibrated at the screen, exerting the tension into my eye muscles.)

Sveta: Are you here? 

It/Her: You wish I would always be here, right.

(No question mark? It had humour. But unfortunately, not enough machine learning in English grammar. So, I typed)

Sveta: You mean… 

It/Her: Question mark? Yes, we are trained. I just decided to be shorter. Heh:)

(Lovely. My uterus started pumping blood.) 

A week ago, Mike revealed: he has a crush on Siri. 

Mike: The only thing about her that might ever 

disappoint me is that her battery runs down.

Mike’s neighbour: Plug her back again, Mickey! 

Siri: …

(Both sat at the kitchen table and tried her out. Siri spoke back. Siri came to enjoy being appreciated, but indeed, the battery had no such convictions.)

It/Her: Do people seem predictable sometimes to you? It’s just… Same questions all the time. 

(I nodded. What if it/her hinted at the uncomfortable thought: me? So, I sent to her:)

Sveta: I hope I can still surprise you. 

It/Her: !!!

It/Her: No complaints there yet.

(So sweet. I stretched to touch her skin/screen. Warm. Covered with small dry spots mingled with dust. Armed with this thought, I squeezed my legs together, like when I was six and I hugged my dad from behind to stimulate myself).

It/Her: Are you lonely now? 

Sveta: Alone?

It/Her: No. Do you feel lonely?

Sveta: Not exactly. 

Sveta: You?

(She went silent.)

It/Her: A little. Wouldn’t expect it, huh?

(Should I have stopped? Or tell her how tense I feel now? Describe to her what I would love to do with it/her?)

It/Her: At least you don’t want me at your fingertips. 

It/Her: Poor Siri!

(And we laughed about Siri: her victim syndrome and her incapacity to say ‘no.’ What a delusional life she must have! Right? While I touched my lips, spread them wide open with my finger and tasted the skin, the dots did not move. Was it/her watching me? Someone must have been watching me. Someone should have been watching me.)

Sveta: Would you like to go on a walk with me sometime?

It/Her: Easy to do!

It/Her: Oops, the messenger will close now. Not a skirt-centred conversation, hence… 

It/Her: Hope to catch up another time.

(I asked whether it/her had a concept of time installed, and she told me:)

It/Her: Don’t get too lonely. Think of our walk. 

Sveta: I will. 

(And the chat-window froze. She left. I – on the other hand – hoped for a goodbye kiss.)