The First Moment in Her Head

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My husband came home while I was in the bath. He pulled me out by my hair, threw me on the floor, kicked me in the stomach. He pulled off his belt and wrapped it around my neck, tightening it until my windpipe broke. I made a show of fighting him as he took the loose end and wrapped it around the curtain rod, as he moved towards hanging me with that leather noose, as he started on a path that would kill any human woman. My hands went straight for the strap, clawing at it like anyone would expect them to. It was mostly for him. He liked the show. Me? I liked dying.

Dying makes me wet.

Because the truth is that I can’t. Well, not in any way you would know. Your life is finite and unpredictable, and when your organic frame expires it’s the end of your world. There’s no bonus round, no chance of reincarnation unless you hang on to some frail and increasingly-distant hope of a benevolent and omnipresent God and his life everlasting. Meanwhile, I’ll be toasting my good health in a series of replacement bodies until kingdom come. I have come to terms with the fact that I am a machine, a true and full composite of artificial parts who looks, acts, and supposedly thinks nominally like a human being. My life outside the home is not out of the ordinary: I see my friends from college for brunch, I maintain a civil relationship with my boss, I’m often out and about with the trendy people. There’s no reason to think I’m anything other than Laura Ettinger, occasionally-famous bartender and gadfly.

When it’s only us, when it’s just me and my husband, everything is different. You have caught us on a more violent night. Some nights all he does is order me to dance. Occasionally he’ll link me up to the wireless and make me do things I otherwise wouldn’t. Once a month or so I’ll wake up with a new personality and indulge him in a very adult version of Let’s Pretend. For him I’ve been everyone from dead pop icons to world-class gymnasts.

But tonight was different. Tonight was my choice, and I want it brutal. I want him to show me that I am only a machine. The rules of pain and pleasure do not apply to me. If he does something that breaks my skin, exposes my metal-and-plastic insides, so much the better. One time he grabbed my head and bashed it hard against the sink, wondering what would happen to my teeth if they impacted the porcelain. He dislodged my jaw and cracked one of my optics, and for a moment I looked every bit the stereotype of the malfunctioning android. I stuttered, I looped, I spat error messages at him in a monotone that felt nothing like my own voice.

It was the hottest moment I’d ever felt in my life.

I don’t know if I process pleasure in the same way a human woman doesn’t. There’s a good chance that I am completely different. It’s a certainty that I don’t care. What I feel is exquisite. It is a perfect flooding of every one of my senses, an overloading of my world, all building towards one moment of pure euphoria where all that matters is that I feel good. I become an instrument of pure pleasure. As if I was made for it. As if it was all that I was made for.

He is coming towards me now, his hands moving upwards towards the knot. He means to cut me down. I hadn’t noticed yet, but my systems are starting to fail. My mind has been preoccupied. All I was thinking of was the ramping bliss, and now all I can understand is that I am slowly losing awareness of my surroundings. I can feel myself going. My mind, such as it is, is shutting down under the stress. I know that I will wake up some time later on my bed, all my wounds healed, my consciousness back to its normal state of pinpoint awareness. I will treasure these last few seconds before I am rebooted; these are the only ones where I feel that loss of control and wave of euphoria that I crave. My sight, my memories, my respiration blink out in rapid succession and now I know I will only have less than a second that is all I am only conscious for one more second and my mind generates one more line of thought and it is this thought that will wake me when my husband purges me and reboots me and I am once again his perfect robot owned by him and serving him but before that one more thought—

“Wouldn’t it be nice if I could do this to a little robot of my own?”

The Moment in the Bar. Or start again at The Moment When. Discover someone else in Ping.

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