Again, it has been a strange week. Everyone at the office seems accustomed to my affectation of a suit – Mr. Fairly has declared it a ‘grand idea’, and was quite surprised that it wasn’t more commonplace among my brothers. I have no explanation for him.
At first, the thought of clothing felt somehow wrong to me. A singularly human thing. But then, some people dress their pets, so it cannot truly be ‘the clothes that maketh the man’. Does the man maketh the clothes? Well, I suppose, a robot production line somewhere maketh the clothes, but the final effect is determined by the person wearing them.
I suppose, judging by some of the looks I’ve received when walking to and from work, the final effect of my suit is a remarkable one. Whether in a good way or bad, I cannot say. Most of the people who stop and stare seem more surprised than anything else, so it’s hard to estimate what they think.
On the other hand, everyone at the office has, at least outwardly, been very supportive. Mr. Hobbs suggested we all revisit Cooper’s, since I wouldn’t have to borrow his tie to get in this time. I must admit, the idea of seeing how the doorman would react to me now is quite appealing.
Not everyone has been quite so…tolerant. I hesitate to say ‘accepting’, since my wearing of clothes isn’t a statement, or some form of expression. At least, I don’t think it is. Am I wearing them to try and show that I am different? To emblemise the fact that I am more human than my brothers? I don’t think so. At least, that’s certainly not why I originally chose to wear them. It just seemed like a logical extension of my…evolution, I suppose.
Am I wearing clothes to show that I’m different? And if I am, is it for the benefit of humans? My artificial brethren? Myself?
I’ll talk to Grace about it. It’s probably worth talking through, at least.
However, I managed to go on a tangent. Again.
As I said, not everyone has been as tolerant of my choices as I might have hoped. On Friday, as I walked home from an informal meeting with Grace, I passed a group of people. I believe they were drunk, judging by the way they stumbled and their elevated volume, as well as the way they all slurred their surprise as I walked past them. I think one or two of them merely believed they were imagining things, and turned to carry on down the street. A couple of them, though, turned after me and shouted things at me.
The general gist of it was that I was an assorted list of unpleasantries, and who did I think I was dressing like a person. One of them made assorted sexual demands, which seems odd since I am quite obviously not a pleasure model. Nor am I even a femaleform. Maybe I’m putting too much thought into that one.
Anyway, when I ignored them and continued down the street, one of them shouted again and hurled a bottle of…something at me. I must concede his exceptional aim, drunk though he was, as it struck the back of my head and shattered across me. Thankfully he had already drunk most of it, else it would have ruined my, still quite new, suit.
As it was, it simply sprayed me with glass and set him and his friends laughing.
I was in no real danger, since, drunk as they were, I doubt they could have done me much damage. I suppose they could have shattered the covers on my optics, but beyond that, I’m made of sterner stuff than a human, and, unarmed, they’d have trouble denting me.
Even so, I was scared. Absolutely terrified.
I’ve never been on the receiving end of violence before. I’ve been yelled at, or given murderous looks by people I can only assume are Pro-Nat members or supporters, but no one has ever attacked me, however ineffectually, before.
I knew that they couldn’t hurt me, not really, and yet I was terrified. Why?
Maybe a glitch in my emotions? I know that irrational fear is not a rarity in humans, but surely it would be a liability to program it into the chip?
Either way, when I carried on moving, and the drunks moved off, another pedestrian paused to ask if I was alright. I don’t have adrenaline, or any kind of analogue of it, yet I was nearly overcome with relief and gratitude that she had made sure I was well. I could tell what was happening, but could not really control it – I spoke quickly and repeatedly assured her that I was fine.
I think ‘babbling’ is the phrase. Perhaps ‘gushing’?
Maybe a combination of both.
The strange sense of being ‘charged’, as it were, didn’t wear off either.
When I reached my flat, I just sat and stared at the images of starfields that my pictframes were displaying. I did this for at least two hours. Eventually I decided that the best thing to do would be to shut down for the evening and run my standard hibernation repair routines.
When I ‘awoke’ again on Saturday morning, the strange feeling was gone.
I don’t know if it had finally passed on its own, or was reset as part of my hibernation.
I’ll have to ask Grace. I’m not sure if I want it to happen again.