Sunday, July 24, 2005

Verisimilitude

Current mood: Die-No-Might

The woman blinks and sighs. The audience clap and cheer. She stands and walks around the stage, doing nothing extravagant. Curious at a design, she lifts a potted plant and twirls it in her hands, admiring the pattern, fingering the lines. The spectators, who paid forty dollars each to watch the woman for just over ten minutes, gasp and laugh. The woman captivates them but she ignores the crowd. Sitting on her rocking chair she appears to sleep for a minute, only to yawn abruptly and stretch. The amazed assembly give a standing ovation before they leave for a new group. The woman on the stage waves goodbye and someone can be heard outside claiming they saw a tear.

A man enters the empty auditorium and asks the woman to remove her jacket. She folds it and places it on the seat of the chair. He then asks her to remove her shirt. She does so, folding it neatly and placing it on the jacket. She is topless now and the man asks her to turn around and place her hands flat on her head. When she does this, without complaint, he unscrews a panel on her back and removes it, placing it in her clothes. Speaking into a walkie-talkie, the man says a few syllables in Japanese, and holding a some coloured wires, he placing his glasses on his forehead to better see some of the woman's internal components. A giggle flows from her mouth, her shoulders bob and she places her hand coquettishly over her mouth. The man freezes his examination, suddenly aware of her programmed humanity. It's as if an apparition just wavered into view and said BOO! But he continues and just smiles at his own superstition.

Satisfied at what he sees, the Japanese man replaces the fleshy panel and she dresses herself without suggestion. He leaves as the first of the half two crowd enter, a fresh excitement accompanying them, which seems to entice her to perform. A gentle wave to the crowd, who sit quickly so as to not miss a thing, and then she surprises everyone by sitting by the stage side to dangle her legs like a child, a broad, toothy smile ballooning her face. The audience rumble with whispers and secret love for the machine, which is so perfectly lifelike as to be unmistakably human. And by the wayside, the Japanese man, her creator, smiles at his offspring fully realised from a seed of imagination, through incubation and development, into a wholly functioning woman who loves to touch and cries when sad.

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