I’ve got a robot version of myself. I don’t want to get into technicalities, but essentially, it is an exact copy of me; a remotely controlled clone. It is easier to call him a robot, so I do. The appearance, the mannerisms, speech patterns, everything down to the last hair follicle are a carbon copy of ‘me’. Without myself, he is a soulless, lifeless shell.
He sits in my room, toiling away on various inane tasks and school assignments. He goes to my classes for me and collects dust, and if he were of 20th century design, gather rust. With flawless impressionism, he masquerades from here to wither-to. He holds conversations with people. He can even pass for a young businessman in the making. Some say he has pretty good presentation skills. He makes small talk with the friends of my friends or other various persons he may happen to be introduced to. After he makes their acquaintance, he says, “hey,” to them when he sees them and emulates similar facial responsiveness and brightness as anyone else.
In his ability to flawlessly be me, for me, he is a perfect being.
I am far away. It isn’t even so much that I always want to be, but I am. I couldn’t tell you where I am exactly, but space is deep and wide. It is a void so vast that far away becomes just another detail at a certain point. I’m at that point. I am far away.
I like my robot. I can control him from where I am. I am myself via proxy.
My robot is not perfect. Even operating under a robust remote control system, he can only emulate. If he were an ocean, he’d cover an entire planet in his soothing embrace, yet if you were to dive beneath you wouldn’t get very far. He is Solaris.
My robot doesn’t care for the average lives of average people. He does not need to be liked, thank goodness, for a robot with such a need would require too many batteries. He doesn’t care about many things. I can only program him to handle so many things at a time. Yet, that is all I need of him.
Where I am at, the matters of the life of my robot hold very little concern. When you’re in space you are consumed by the Alien. Earth does not accept the Alien concerns and the Alien tasks. Earth is the Alien’s prison and society is the warden.
I am grateful for my robot. He serves my prison sentence for me. He is an incubator. He is like a pair of well-tinted sunglasses to a sleeping student, yet at the same time he is also the voice recorder in his pocket. Even better, he is the illusion of omnipresence. I am here and I am there, or so you think.
He is here so I don’t have to be.
When I find my way back home, you will never know I have been gone. Likewise, when I send my robot self to his vacation to the great beyond, you will never know he left you. One day, I’m sure I will miss the robot version of myself. Will you miss him?