This was a dream, so fine; go with it. It’s not going to hurt.
Okay, of course, a robot. On wheels. Heading straight for me. And it had real legs. Hairy, male legs.
Suddenly, he needed to urinate. Then he didn’t.
Are you normal? It said. What? He replied. It ticked him off the list. It’s wheels trundled off down the corridor, fading to little more than a distant hum and squeak. He pinched his body. There was a little fat at the waistline. But that’s normal he said to himself. A young woman sat opposite him, peering over the top of her magazine; her eyes fixed with terror and strong glasses. Idiot, he said. Then he said it internally, realising he’d repeated his mistake. The young woman crossed her legs. His mind went blank. He stood up, walked over to the water machine and pressed the button. Nothing. He exhaled. Like a maniac, he thought. For some reason, he wanted to impress the girl. Or at least, he wanted her to know that he wasn’t a head case. That he was here for a simple thing, nothing really.
Like many similar institutions, the walls and ceilings and floors were all the same colour: silver grey. It was like floating in a boring drink in a bar in hell. The only light was provided by square box lamps screwed to the ceiling. And he could swear he heard muzak. He began to hum along to it, without thinking.
Then the girl started to join in. Added lyrics to his humming. They were often out of sync. Not that it mattered. The words she used were designed, it seemed, to leave little room for anything else. She stood up and belted it out. At one stage even grabbing hold of a tit.
“And she screamed, above an olive tree, with humming birds wings, and satellite stings. Ah, you were nothing but cancer, ooooh
cancer to me baby-boo. My heart ached for soooo long, but
now your gone, I made yoooo
Then the water machine sprang into life and she stopped singing. She swayed on her clogs and shook her head from side to side. Her plaited pigtails made tapping sounds as they hit either side of her head.
At the far end of the corridor, another robot appeared. This one was huge and grey and covered with bars of red lights. At the very front of it there was a hoover mechanism. A rectangle with a metal mincer churning inside it. Two long, comic arms and hands sprouted from the top and carried a dustpan and brush.
The girl froze with fright. The man felt a little wee come out. The robot grumbled along the corridor, making a bee-line for pig tails girl. She closed her eyes. He saw the giant box of whirring death stop dead in front of the girl where it deftly swept up a small sweet wrapper that had been dropped during the performance.
“Hold-out-your-hand…” the robot asked the girl.
She opened her eyes. He could see she was close to tears.
And, in her palm, the robot placed wrapped sweet.
“Ah, thanks!” Said the girl.
And the robot glowed redder than ever. Like it was blushing. And in a blink, it had disappeared back down the corridor. Back to wherever it came from.
The girl swung her head to face the boy, he pig-tails swinging with her. Then she poked her tongue out at him and grinned insincerely.
The boy just folded his arms and waited.
And woke up laying in bed like Dracula.