He says, at the front door, ‘I would like to share this with you.’ I sense the marching band behind his eyes, the brass-driven uniforms, crucifixes, a saving both unnecessary and vital . Turns out he wanted me to sign up for his dusbin cleaning business. Ah. A little blue van with a heart of spiraling soapy disinfectant. It churns at the kerb, like an animal. For a moment, i want to elope with it; what have i got to lose? Just jump in and straight to Gretna. Is Gretna in England? No, over the border. That’s the whole point – on the other side is where love comes into its own. Soap love. Clinical romance. Why not? Never a cross word. Simple refilling instructions. Online data. Insurance included. No excess. No surfeit. Can we love machines? No, as they can’t love us. Their innards believe our communications though; they react or risk losing power, dismantling. What would you rather be? A bread maker? A vibrator? a giant digger? where do you stand on this issue? The year 2046 is the one to watch out for; the experienced Theorist says that it is then we cross that line, when we become, finally, serviceable and as soul-booted as hard drives.

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