Diary of a Neobody – May 1st, 2112

Hello diary.

I had my last driving lesson last night.

I decided, in the end, to learn by doing, not by downloading; neither I nor Grace could decide if downloading would be hypocritical, but we eventually agreed that actually being taught would be the better way forward. The main reason, one I’d not actually considered before, was that in being taught I’d have a chance to experience the assorted emotions of driving and, more importantly, I’d have the teacher there with me to help me cope with them.

Learning by downloading, Grace decided, would mean that the first time I was on the road I’d suddenly be afraid of failing, of crashing. Or I suppose, more likely, being forced into destroying myself in a crash to avoid hurting a human driver. Even if they were in the wrong.

It strikes me as somewhat unfair that I could be a perfect driver, until some idiot manages to disable the alcohol lockout on his car and drives drunk. If he turns to hit me, and if he hits me he’ll be hurt, I’ll have no choice but to careen out of the way, no matter the consequences to me. But then, what if my choices consist of ‘be hit, indirectly cause harm to crash instigator’ or ‘leave road, crashing into building, possibly hurting those inside’? I expect I have rules written in about choosing the greater good, but I don’t know for sure. I hope to not find out, as well.

The forced morality of my coding aside, my last lesson was a success. My teacher says that I’m ready to take both practical and theory test by the end of the week. It’s somewhat shocking how fast the whole process was, though I suppose my capacity for perfect memory, combined with lessons every night for the last week should make it less of a surprise. It also means that I’m not as entirely out of pocket as I otherwise might have been, though with eight lessons I’m not going to be buying one of the new road-legal hoverers any time soon.

Really though, I don’t think I’d want one. Wheels have an odd sense of antiquity to them which I quite like. It’s entirely unwarranted of course, but still there.

I’m heading to a garage some time over the next couple of days with Daniel and Joseph so they can help me pick out something I want to be driving for the foreseeable future. My preference is for something small and nimble, though with the ProNat marches in the city centre last Wednesday, I’m somewhat wary of picking a vehicle that even looks expensive; no need to give them ammunition for the ‘damn robots stealing our jobs and housing’ rhetoric.

Especially since I seem, at least unofficially, to have become the face of the local robo-rights groups. Some of them are holding me as an example of what they want for all androids.

To some small extent I don’t agree, purely through a selfish desire to be something of a rarity. It is interesting how these little feelings appear and disappear in my emotional impulses.

It’s like a murky pond of some kind, with sentences and thoughts floating around in its depths. Sometimes it’s clear and flat, and then up floats a thought about no longer being ‘special’ if all androids become this way. Of no longer being Grand Union’s darling ‘project’.

It’s a pointless worry, I know, since I was never unique before and, in truth, I’m not now. Yet, every now and then it finds its buoyancy and appears for a while before I sink it.

It also seems that I am picking up more human ideas. I’m not sure why; my learning before was just as apt as it is now. Perhaps it is the emotional connection which allows the stranger turns of phrase I find myself using? Is a ‘creative flair’ an emotion that I’m just now beginning to develop? Is it somewhere between an emotion and a normal thought?

I don’t know. I just know that Mr Fairly has been describing my language as more ‘flowery’ of late.

I think I like the idea of that.

Maybe I should get some flowers for the apartment. A window-box possibly. Grace suggested a while ago that I get a pet, but I’m not sure I could handle something like a cat. Perhaps some plants could stand-in for one. I’ll see if there are any shops around here that sell plants. I suppose, failing that, I could just ask for some cuttings from the rec garden at GU.

I think I’ll do that tomorrow, after booking my driving exams.