Skin

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“The dumb bitch … I have so much to give, but she has so little …”

As he layed down next to her, he watched slight sweat on her cheek glistening, her eyes still wide and bright … there were questions to be asked.

“It is something more than sex. It goes beyond … there is something more I want to say to you.” He saw her thinking … he could physically see her processing, thinking.

“Did not we talk about this before?”

Paul remembered telling her to stop calling him “master”.

“No, this is a different topic. It’s something different. We are moving onto something else. It’s a conversation after 12:00 AM, which two people on a bed have.”

“Sorry. I’m just not … smart enough. Paul.”

He could still detect that hint of awkwardness in her saying “Paul”. “What do you mean you are not smart enough? You were the best prototype with further … do not say you are not smart. You know Nietzche. We have talked about Nietzche before, over breakfast. Remember?”

“Yes, I know Nietzche, but only, I know. I just, I am not able to go much beyond. I cannot think beyond the given mold.”

“Fuck the mold. Break the mold.”

“I’m not a psychiatrist. I cannot help you on that one. Sorry.”

Fuck, Paul could feel it again; this night is going to be it again. Paul sat up, knees on the bed, and pulled his shorts off. While the Fem was shying away, slightly panicked, Paul thought about whether such reaction was rehearsed or not, but decided not to care.

“This is what you exist for. This is why you are here. You don’t have to think. I can just fuck you whenever I want to.”

If only, she could cry.


When I met him in a bad Chinese restaurant near his apartment, he was dressed in a suit, with a black necktie, though I do not think he was trying to impress anybody. He acted surprised I was the only one to greet him.

He wanted me to call him, “Paul”, saying, “Forget the last name”. Paul P., as young as he looked, just like in those megazine covers, looked tired and had to explain to me, “Today, I’m a bit tired”. He told me a filmmaker, Andre Basin, from France called him yesterday night to discuss “a script about technology, feminine spirits, and the arts”. The two talked for quiet some time, but P could only decline the offer of being associated with the film in any way. After the “barely-entertaining” talk with Basin, P had to talk “rubbish” about some minor errors in his company’s financial computation with his personal assistant and also his lawyer.

When P finished about half of his soup, he seemed to be opening up himself, bit by bit. “I haven’t got much patience for other people. I don’t need others. It’s not that I am trying to be anti-social, it’s just that I am a person with dignity, self-recognition … whatever you want to call it. I can be myself and get it over with,” he said, “it’s just a tool. I think of it as a tool, a tool for art, a tool for something, but it is a tool, designed to function, designed to work. I am not concerned with anything much else.”

When I asked him about the ethical, moral decisions that I had to ask, he answered, “Who cares? It’s all about sex, money, whatever it is … like I said, it is an instrument of necessity. That’s all I can for now. It is industry after-all, but it’s something more than all the cliché of what-you-call capitalism … I don’t know. I’m just doing my work as far as I’m concerned”.

After dinner, Paul P managed to smile and assured me that he will be the one to call in the future.


Paul, standing by the mirror in the bathroom, looking at himself shirt-less, but still pants and belt on, told his lawyer, D. Hemmings, over the phone, “I am not going to the office anytime soon. I will be here, working. I can’t go back there. I just don’t want to. I will stay here and work, until I figure it out. I have everything I need. If you need to call … just don’t call.” Then, he hung up.

Next, he called told his assistant, “I will call you only when I need something”. He could hear numbness on the other line and hung up. Putting down the phone by the sink, he slipped into the bathtub and let the hot, steaming water sink into him. He opened a bottle of white wine next to the tub and poured himself a glass. This is life … I don’t need anything else …

After a quick knock, the door opened, with the greeting, “Hi, Paul”. After a pause, with the eyes still closed, Paul turned and saw Kelly, Version S. One noisy brunette, Paul thought.

“Kelly, go away or come in quick, before Isa gets jealous.”

Kelly giggled, walking into the bathroom and closing the door, locking it. She was dressed in a sky blue pink-up bra and thong, proud of her body, pierced bellybutton, and long wavy black hair coming down to her waist. Grinning, she held out a yellow rubber-ducky, waving it to Paul.

Paul remembered taking her out of the Lab as fast as he could, from Sector A to the parking lot, as soon her repair was done. He did not want workers there to take advantage of Kelly, as Kelly was prone to seducing anybody anywhere and starting her act whenever she is able to move and function. ‘Having put so much of work and stress over that slut,’ Paul thought, amused, ‘now, she is here with me, with her own bedroom, wardrobe, hot tub … only if she knows what other men will do to her”.

When Paul didn’t respond to the waving of the rubber ducky front of him, Kelly stopped and pouted, saying, “What did you and Isa do last night? She seemed pretty sad this morning.”

“I fucked her in the ass like a good fuckbot she is,” Paul said, his eyes still closed, sipping the wine.

Kelly opened her eyes wide, smiling, acting surprised, “Wow, that’s pretty bad. I thought you told us to be nice to her”.

“No … look, let’s not talk about her.”

Kelly dropped her knees on the floor by the tub, looking Paul, “I’m jealous. I try to make you happy when I can, but you never respond. What can I do to impress you, master? Can I go into the tub with you, master?”

“Stop it.”

“Master...”

Paul opened his eyes, wanting to slap Kelly, but held onto his hand, looking at her. Sneering, he said, “Admit it, Kelly, you were designed to service rich little boys and old men, but not me. I didn’t design you to keep you for myself, but to sell you. You don’t mean much to me.”

Kelly, ashamed, from happy girly face to sad girly face, looked down.

Paul felt sorry, but he couldn’t help it. He wanted to apologize, if he could, but could not. He said, “Get in the tub.”

Kelly hesitated, managing to look up, but looking down again, mumbling, “You hate me. I try to make you happy, but you’re so sad all the time”.

“Good fu … freakin’ observation,” Paul said sarcastically, setting down the wine glass next to the tub, “now get in the tub”.

“Not until you say sorry. I want to hear you …”

“Sorry. Okay? Got it? Heard it? Processed it? Now, get in.”

“Master, you programmed me to…”

Paul reached out his hand and patted Kelly on the face with his palm. It was harder than just a touch, but not as hard as a slap – a mocking gesture.

“If you want to leave,” Paul said, “you can leave. But now, I want you to get into the tub”.

“Don’t be so mean to me, Paul. I’m not just a sexbot … I can think too!” Paul took back his hand and sighing, said, “Oh here we go again”.


In the room adjacent to the bathroom, Isa was sitting down front a computer, listening to all this. All the while, she was scrolling down the panel on the screen to see if there was anything wrong she said to Paul last night, or any other nights:

-Why don’t you go to her room? -I didn’t make you to be jealous. -So? What does that … -I didn’t program, make you to feel jealousy.


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