July 24, 2009
I believe I am the most fortunate sentient
in this sector of the galaxy.
I WISH I COULD
write myself a program, like Lt. Commander Data, quoted above, for navigating the choppy waters of romance. Ensign Jenna D’Sora, on the rebound from a broken relationship, gets a crush on Data because she has a fixation on unemotional men. Data, incapable of human emotion, is made to order, as it were. He accommodates by writing a program, drawing from literature and observation, about how to conduct a romance. There’s a special subroutine for Jenna. Always seeking clues and prompts from her, he brings flowers, turns the lights down, replicates cocktails, assumes a suggestive voice, starts a lover’s quarrel, redecorates his quarters to her taste, etc., until Jenna realizes what she’s doing and calls it off.
“Are we no longer a couple?” asks Data.
“No, Data, we are not.”
“Then I will delete the appropriate program.”
A little ray of eternal sunshine from Star Trek The Next Generation, “In Theory.”
I JUST HEARD
about a woman who traveled with her partner of two years to a foreign country, and broke up with him there. Cold. Freezing. It reminded me of the time the guy I was dating drove me all the way out to Newhope, Pennsylvania, around 30 miles from Philadelphia, to tell me over dinner he’d met someone else, and I had to endure not only the rest of the dinner (no dessert for me, thanks) but the 50-minute ride back home. And when, 30+ years later, that guy comes to visit me in August, I’m going to ask him why the hell he had to do that like that.
I was unable to delete the appropriate program, for several years. It’s nice to know I’ve made enough progress to be able to direct myself away from dead-end attachments to men I will never be with, without having to actually leave town, as I did in the above case. Phew! Like Ensign D’Sora’s seeking out of emotionally unavailable men, I too am attracted to men who aren’t actually going to demand anything of me; men who are already involved, men I don’t know, even men who are dead (Jack Kerouac). With my need for solitude, compulsion to write, manic-depression and tendency to burn out on sexual attraction, long-term romantic relationships have not been my forte. But I never underestimate the capacity of the universe to surprise me.
IN THE MEANTIME,
a sentient who can program himself to meet my needs and not actually have any of his own, would suit me just fine.
The author’s new dream man
How incredibly lucky
Go on, universe, bring it on
copyright Alexandra Jones 2009