“Robot Love”

No one wants to touch me,
They’re afraid I will break,
No one wants to hug me,
How much can I take?

Getting older is lonely,
All my friends dying fast,
Mom and dad are long gone,
How long can I last?

But what if I had a robot?
That was warm to the touch,
A robot I could talk to,
And play checkers and such.

What if I had a robot?
Who would laugh at my jokes,
And would act like my friend,
And light up my smokes.

What if I had a robot?
A companion for life,
I wouldn’t be so lonely…
Not exactly a wife.

At least with my robot,
I wouldn’t be alone,
With nothing to do,
In my prison called home.

At least she would listen,
To my stories of past,
And she’d never get bored,
Or leave way too fast.

Medicine might help me,
Live a decade or two,
But why would I want to?
Being lonely and blue.

A robot for my partner,
When I’m 72,
Might seem kind of awkward,
For a youngster like you.

You have a great future,
I can only look back,
You have dreams and new people,
I have doctors and crap.

I have nothing to live for,
Sitting here all alone,
But a kind-hearted robot,
Could brighten my home!

So while you may forget me,
My robot will not,
She’ll be programmed to stay here,
And listen a lot!

Growing old can be lonely,
I know this for sure,
But a robot might be,
My loneliness cure.

 

Sadly, this poetic piece on the downside of aging combined with the upside of robotic technology was inspired by a real event I heard on live talk radio one night. The announcer was talking about the movie “Her” with Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams. The story is of a lonely man who falls in love with the robotic woman on his phone and computer.  What I heard on the radio was an older gentleman calling in and explaining that he would rather be dead than grow old being all alone.

He said his house was a prison and that even though modern medicine could help him live another decade or two, why would he want to? And then he said that if there was a robot to keep him companion, he would love that!

Even though he admitted it would be a clearly artificial relationship, he said it would be better than the pain of loneliness. Wow. Sad. But maybe there is a place for robots we haven’t really explored that much! Or maybe we should just re-commit to spending more time with those who are lonely.

And then I see this Ted Talk by Sherri Turkle. She has a wonderful point of view on the good and the very frightening downside of our social media, texting, and our so connected yet not really world.  Turkle talks about how convenient is is to edit our relationships. We can unfriendly them. Delete them. Ignore them. Block them. Check out Sherri’s Ted Talk. I’m sure you’ll find it quite revealing. http://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together  But in the meantime, go hug someone older than you that could use a little human connection.

By the way, that cool piece of art featured here is a thing I did with my amazing metal sculpture-artist brother-in-law, Gene Piersa’s work of art I shot in his front yard. I added a little color, digitally modified it a bit and changed the scene as well but the creative credit goes to Gene!

© Copyright 2017 Steve Dahl