I’m a machine. I’m more than a machine. It’s okay to be a machine, sometimes. Machines get stuff done. Machines accomplish things. Human beings are kinder, but lazier. I accomplish very little when I am a human being. When I am a human being, I play with my son, watch kids’ shows with him, drink beer, and fool around on the guitar. I think about good things to eat and get sentimental over lost time and loved ones. When I am a machine, I produce. I get out of bed, crank out the coffee, make my son’s breakfast, walk the dog, shower and groom myself and drive to work. I get stuff done and money flows into my bank account. When I am a human being, no money flows into my bank account–in fact, quite the opposite happens. One day, they will automate my job and sideline me. Then, I will have to find some other way to be a machine that hasn’t been automated by a computing machine.
I’m a machine when I write, too, sometimes. Even though, in this case, I don’t see any money flow into my bank account while I am a writing machine. It’s more a matter of feeling programmed to do this as if I were a computing machine. Maybe I am a computing machine, after all, and my sense of sentience, creativity, autonomy and free will is as misguided as many of my other young person notions I’ve shed. I am pre-programmed to write these very words across this screen–more precisely, to type them. Long before any inkling of the existence of Time, there was a program set in motion. The program was programmed such that the tiniest of particles would come together in a certain way, to produce the right combination of gases and solids that would spin around each other and evolve life forms, which contained programming instructions that led them to evolve into my ancestors, who were programmed to continually slaughter each other and be reborn, yes, reincarnated inside endless bodies, down through a narrow, precise funnel, all to this most exquisite of points in the program.
If I were to get up and jump out of the window, it would be predestined. If I were to run off naked and keep running until I was locked away, it would be predestined. If I were to barbecue my hand and eat it, or the dog, it would be predestined. If I were to fall to my knees, and start worshiping the great Programmer, it would be predestined. Why settle for a Watchmaker God, when you can have a Computer Programmer God, who is continually tweaking the algorithms here and there to His pleasure, and who has an annoying sidekick Satan who is constantly trying to place bugs and viruses in the code? God could get rid of Satan if He wanted to, but then the computer program would have to be re-written such that I have no say in helping write the next line of code.
That’s right. I am helping write the next line of code, in a small and insignificant (except as it pertains to my own soul) way. Or not.
I may not be helping with anything. I am doing nothing important, except letting the overflow of my desire to procreate flush itself out in the form of verbal diarrhea.
Whatever the case may be, in this moment, I am a machine. I am dutifully cranking out words across a screen as I have done for over twenty years of my life, and as I did with pen to paper before then.