Androids and Electric Sleep (Part 2)

I’m the Knight of Infinite Resignation or the Kierkegaardian fatalist. I sit in this café where androids gather. They’re scheming, plotting, drawing and smoking. I feel lost too, but I’m no android. I don’t bleed blue, and I’m not a mass of wires. I’m more than that or at least try convincing myself that I am. MGMT plays in the background, and this whole place has this psychedelic ambiance, but I’m not on drugs. I don’t do drugs. That’ll make me a misfit or a layabout, but I often wonder if I should. I often wonder if I should get the surgery done. I wonder if I should replace my arteries and veins with circuits and smoke a blunt with those pretty misfits in the corner. Who am I? I think I’m a man baptized in a dark pool of nihilism and guilt by acolytes wearing tan-colored robes symbolizing the earthiness of it all. When I say earthiness, I don’t mean the rich soil or the petrichor. I mean rough, dirty earth that gets embedded in your fingernails. Oh, how I envy Abraham! He’s taking the bus right now with Isaac in tow. He’s going to the mountain to sacrifice the boy to Jehovah. But isn’t God dead? I’m sure Abraham doesn’t mean to make a sacrifice literally. I think it’s a figurative one where he’ll teach the boy about the ill effects of the electronic cigarettes he smokes and the video games he plays. I mean, that kid is nineteen and Ishmael is married and well settled even though Abraham disowned him. This boy though is so caught up in virtual reality headsets and apparently has 3D dreams. Television apparently made us dream in color, and here we have Isaac – the first post-millennial killed off by reckless spending and banal consumerism, the first post-millennial not needing hallucinogens to know what an acid trip feels like. At least the Hippies listened to great music while they gave themselves over to Woodstock. He definitely needs the mountains. He apparently asked Abraham what a sacrifice is. The gall of the boy! I hope he suffers when Abraham imposes Luddite Puritanism on him, and he cries and shrieks in horror until a ram appears, and he tastes something richer than Snapchat. But, hell, I’m a fatalist, and I don’t believe that Abraham will succeed. I think he’ll become an apostate too and start punching tweets on his outdated phone before he’s disgruntled and runs to the Apple Store and picks up the latest iPhone. And then Isaac will demand one too. I’d like to see how all this plays out when Abraham returns smoking an e-cigarette himself. But even that cheap thrill is so ephemeral. Everything is so transient. I might as well get high. I think I’m going to join the misfits but what good will that do? I’ll read this book, and then I really don’t know what to do.

Part 1

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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  1. God said to Abraham,
    “Kill me a son!”.
    He must have known,
    one day, Nitin, you would
    write this visionary poem.

  2. Dear Nitin, so much said and much more between the lines, excellent writing and VERY thought-provoking. I adore that you were able to maintain an element of (dry) humor throughout and tie it to our crude earthen human egocentric desires and vices. This piece is definitely a complicated mind bender, a difficult topic to encapsulate, which you did beautifully, plus you ask the reader to contemplate where he or she is on the continuum. As I sit quietly thinking about all of this, I want to maintain that it’s human nature to dismiss the ultimate leap of faith. Our 5 or 21 senses seem to in line with this dismissal, which now leads me to the notion of rejection (resignation), this is the only way I can simplify the enormity of this idea you’ve expanded on here in Part 2. Rejection seems to be defined as a negative, I don’t think it is, it’s part of our earthly existence. I wonder if being human by default we reject the pure and simple, instead we embracing the complicated. Still thinking on this, as nothing is permanent. Thankfully, I’m in a realm where I can change my mind, because I really don’t know. Thank you for an amazing read this morning. ~ Mia

    Btw, another terrific image.

    1. Wow, Mia!

      Your comment really got me thinking. You’re right and strangely anyone (Calvinistic or Armenian) who believes in Total Depravity will agree with you. They’ll tie the notion of humanity rejecting the pure, absolute and simple with inherent wickedness that we’ve inherited because of the Fall. They’ll say, We’re in an active rebellion with God. Which is why, Calvinists argue that salvation is a work of God via grace without any human effort involved. It’s strange that you should mention this because I was in the car the other day, thinking the exact same thoughts. I was wondering why we reject the absolute, but I guess old dogma made me look at it all like a theologian instead of embracing a humanistic perspective like you have. We embrace what’s ephemeral because we’re mortal. I’ll go further now to say that we embrace what’s complicated because we’re complicated and lead complicated lives. Which is why, I sometimes cannot stand the Christian God who seems to think in terms of black and white. And that’s the conflict of faith, which I might introduce in the third part of this series. Isn’t there a grey ground? Isn’t there a middle way? I’ll leave the rest for the third part which you’ve inspired. I didn’t know where to go with this, but I know do.

      1. Nitin, thank you for a wonderful reply. Powerful and true, “we embrace what’s complicated because we’re complicated and lead complicated lives.” Wishing you a good week ahead. ~ Mia

  3. An appropriate continuation of the series. I enjoy the recurring themetic elements, both linguistic as well as conceptual. I am looking forward to reading the third installment.

    1. Thank you so much. Yes I might change the themes slowly although the central essence of the story will remain the same. Thank you for reading. I truly appreciate it.

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