It was summertime and everyone I knew was out playing at the beach, picnicking in each others’ arms, or complaining about losing their passports in far-flung cities. I had read all the books in my house and exhausted my monthly download cap, so to stave off loneliness I built myself a robot.
“You’ll be the friend I always wished for,” I told the robot, “the one who’s always there for me, who won’t ever let work or study or making pancakes get in the way of spending time together. A true friend who’s true to me.”
“Sounds sweet,” the robot said to me. “Hey, wanna smash my head in? It’ll be fun. Real turn-on, if you know what I mean.”
“No way!” I said. “I’m sorry, but this is both morbid and unsustainable for our relationship.”
“See, that’s your problem right there,” said the robot. “You can only make friends when you’re prepared to accept others for who they are. Sure, they may have different hobbies or dreams or bedtime preferences, but that shouldn’t get in the way of having a good time together. And sometimes they’ll have to put other things or people first, but then again so will you, and you’ll both be okay with that. You’ve both gotta be true to yourselves before you can be true to each other.”
“I suppose you’re right,” I said. “Just hold on – my sledgehammer’s in the garage.”