Robotica

By Andrew Vazquez on December 24, 2017 — 2 mins read

I’ve been asked to write something. Anything, really. I suppose that I could write some trite piece of bullshit about myself. Perhaps I could talk about my conquests or, perhaps, more importantly my failures. I’ve opted to do neither of those things. Instead I’ll tell you about one of the more striking people I’ve seen in my travels as a professional human being.

Her name? Well… I know her name. But in my mind I always affectionately refer to her as Robótica.

I say this because it is truly a thing of wonder how someone can only have legitimately one expression on their face. In her defense she was only part of my life for exactly one week. And the role she played was a cursory one at that… But there was a steadfast precision with which she denied the entire world any semblance of human emotion, each one of her facial muscles eternally paused in an act of defiance she could only ever understand.

For a time I was all but convinced she had motor oil running through her veins and an advanced processor for a brain that even the most daring of computer scientists could have ever dreamt of. I was certain that she was a piece of the distant future sent back in time for a purpose yet undisclosed to any of us.

Then one day I saw it happen: the most honest mistake I’d ever seen a person make. Her hand slipped and she let a glass fall precisely out of place. The unintentional clanking of glasses signaled only one thing: a sign of humanity. And for something so uncharacteristic of her, it was oddly comforting.

I’m sure people all over the world say that everybody makes mistakes. And people all over the world probably say that because it’s true. It’s part of being human.

The thing is, people can manufacture the impression that they want you to have of them. Why they feel you need to have a certain impression of them is neither here nor there. But there are some things beyond us. Somethings are perfectly imperfect.

Her recovery from said brief moment of clumsiness was painfully slow. It was a telegraphed broadcast of self consciousness. And, for once, her eyes finally betrayed her. Two perfect sapphires of pure frustration. The kind of frustration you can’t program into something. Science for all its glory couldn’t have put that there.

It wasn’t manufactured, it wasn’t calculated. But, in its lack of deliberateness, it was completely pure and honest. And that was truly striking.

What I learned from Robotica is to appreciate the unintentional and to look for the cracks in the narrative. Sometimes people can’t help but give away certain pieces of truth about themselves. And, sometimes that truth only points to the fact that the person we are observing is just like the rest of us.

What I will say in my closing remarks is that I did finally see Robotica smile. And, while I still half expected to hear metal grinding on metal upon seeing that, it was nice to see her enjoy herself. Whether that was a sophisticated ruse or a moment of genuine delight, it’s possible that I will never know. But that’s a secret I suppose that I can live with.