The reality of commuting in the pouring rain and over glistening dog shit littered pavements lying under monstrous prefab buildings; that perpetual stagnant greyiosity of the man and woman on the street – it is enough to drive a man to dissolve into a cloud of vapour. A steam being. A film of information wetting all around him.
I have resigned myself to the fact that what my jungle feels as truth may, in fact, reveal itself as falsehood. The only way out appears to be prised open from cursive marks etched or written onto a surface then transformed into sound, symbolic images, painted or sculpted. The only relief for an out-of-control imagination, such as mine.
As I turn the corner, avoiding overturned bins and freezing under ripe fruits outside a grocers scattered on the pavement by some clumsy thief, I head for the bus stop and stop dead. Under the shelter is a chimp with flickering electrodes in his head. He is wearing a dark grey herringbone suit and reading today’s FT. His head is resting on the shoulder of an exquisite glimmering Expressionist robot woman who is speed reading The Idiot. I move to sit down, full of dumb wonder and curiosity. I guess I should be struck down with my ever present fear but, damn, if they are not a unique sight for human eyes to drink in amongst the plastic dullards and soulless that litter the streets with their banality. As I get closer I see the simian chap wipe tears from his eyes.
“I wasn’t weeping with sorrow, y’know?” speaks the ape in a cut glass accent.
“There are no tears in my eyes anymore.”
The ethereal android turns her head and kisses him tenderly on the head with her immobile lips. The chimp blinks a long eye kiss in answer to her. Then in a single shittifying moment he bares his teeth and growls at me. The electrical contacts inserted into his brain fizz and crack raging sparks.
“I made another million this morning!”
I have a freezing instant where I feel the pull of flighting or fighting, but I notice the robot. Her metallic female face does not even twitch but I sense a disapproving pout.
“Sorry, old chap,” he mutters, “How utterly beastly of me. Sometimes my emotions run away, but this human world is just too easy to fathom. I escaped from an animal experiment laboratory, you know. Moreau Labs, ever heard of it? No matter, the bastards turned me into a fuckin’ genius and now I intend to ruin the empirical cunts on the stock market. Right where it hurts – in the shekels.”
I nod trying to avoid the screaming freak show in my head, threatening to wipe out my personality in a butterfly net assault.
“And you, M’am?” I ask feeling like a complete and utter fool at such a question. She’s a metal woman. I am asking a question to a metal woman with a monkey – no, not monkey, be accurate, you plebian – a chimp on her arm. She closes the book and tilts her head.
“She came from the past where we were lovers. She came to find me so that we could be together again,” the ape cooed as he brushed a speck of lint off his suit.
And I sit there with them, talking, until the bus comes. And the next. And the next. And diffusing into the flux of an air current, I feel as though I have arrived home.