The Park


Allie watched from her window and documented. They, in the park, couldn't see her. They didn't want to. They had their bottles of oblivion, their benches, and the occasional gift of a blanket and meal ticket from one of the compassionate.

It was Thursday evening, 10pm. Allie sat up and scanned the park perimeter. The fembot swaggered in from Sharpe Street, regular as a crystal. Whose turn tonight? Not Greysocks; he's dead to the world. Not Warlimp; he's gathering his stuff to make an exit. And not Weirdnewguy, whom she hadn't yet named; he's curled up in a ball by the brotherhood bin, shouting at an oppressive shrub. The fembot paraded its perfect black lace past Supermustache. Allie knew he would take the bait. She'd watched him closely last time. He was interested. The mustache amplified his grin as the bot worked through its routine on him: the wide eyes, the pout, the calculated combination of body language, scent and sighs. Delicious meets derelict. An impossible tragic romantic comedy... Allie's mind had wandered. She returned to her self-imposed discipline.

"10:04 Supermustache lets go of bottle and stands up," she wrote. "Bluescarf is making encouraging rude gestures from over beside the statue." He'll be next, she thought. Why do they follow? They must know fembot service doesn't come for the pitiful few bucks they've got. They don't seem to have noticed that those who follow never come back. Maybe their addled brains don't remember. Maybe they don't care. Their park is becoming cleaner and quieter.

"10:05 Supermustache trips on the steps--too focused on fembot's stockings. Fembot proceeds up Sharpe. Supermustache is confused. May have hit his head. He won't catch up. Fembot is not checking at all, not looking back, not listening, lost him."

No final fantasy for you, clumsy Mr. Supermustache, thought Allie. Still, she now knew what needed fixing in her code.