How cliché would it sound if I said it wasn't supposed to turn out this way?
That's something people say, right? To cover up their mistakes, or make themselves feel better. They hold their intentions close to the vest, and when an undesirable outcome occurs, they cry, "It wasn't supposed to happen this way!"
And then they swoon on their fainting couch or something. I don't know. But that's a thing people say; that's a sentiment shouted loudly in empty, echoing rooms when failure inevitably crashes down around you.
It wasn't supposed to happen this way.
And that's sort of true. But then again, I don't really know how it was supposed to be. If someone had stepped in months ago—years ago—and asked what I was doing, what I could possibly hope to achieve, I would've had an answer. Granted, it would have been some bullshit line about "pushing the limits of the human soul," or, "turning the mirror around to face ourselves." Or something equally pompous.
What I really wanted was to play God.
I'm sure that wouldn't have gone over well, but no one ever asked, and I certainly never articulated it voluntarily. It's a shame. It would've been fun to play a part and spew bullshit lines about "building something great," and, "shaping the future." I would've pushed up my glasses with the knuckle of my right pointer finger—it's a real classy move—and told them I was "striving for greatness." That's totally something I would do. Then I would snicker to myself, knowing that I looked badass in my fitted lab coat, sleeves rolled up.
That's not abnormal. People fill the quiet spaces with lies all the time. Dishonesty—playing their part—is more important than actually being anything, anyone. Like I used to see girls running around in tight gym pants. The kind with the obnoxiously fluorescent accent material trimming the hem or the waistband. They'd be paired with equally silly looking running shoes in hot pink or electric blue. I would think, "Do they make normal colored sneakers anymore?" If they did, I never saw them. But these girls would traipse around in their sherbet colored workout gear with full make up and perfectly done hair. Like they ever saw the inside of a gym. Or a bike path. Like they ever shed a drop of sweat. It was more important for them to look the part as they ordered their Skinny Carmel Lattes than to actually do anything. I guess that could have been a more truthful answer to the unasked question "what did you expect?"
To do something.
It was an idea trapped in my brain since high school. Probably even before that. I really liked robots. I mean, really liked them. Sure, that sounds geeky, and outside looking in, it is pretty obvious nerd stuff. But robots are awesome.
Asimov, right? And HAL? Robots are everything—they can be anything. They can be sleek and sexy, or looming muscle. Robbie from Lost in Space or a supple-skinned Stepford Wife. The appeal is obvious. You can create. You can build something in your image and breathe life into it. No matter what the human behind their creation tells you, they did it to play God.
Downfall comes when you refuse to admit that.
So you read some hard sci-fi and you watch Blade Runner a bunch. And maybe that's where it starts and finishes. Maybe you fantasize about fucking some humanoid of your own design, but that's it. And that's where I teetered. I sat on the edge of mundanity, and a great, sweeping desire that carved out a place in my belly and lit me on fire. It made me feel empty and filled to bursting all at the same time. My palms itched with the need to do something.
It was that day at the mall. I was leaning against the second floor railing. I could feel the cool pane of glass through my jeans as I pressed my knee into it. I gazed towards to the ground level, and I could see down half of the girls' shirts. Moms pushing strollers, and kids skipping school to hang out near the Cinnabon. And I just knew. I knew that those moms were frigid, shrieking women. They were withholding and turned men to stone with a single look. And I knew those girls hanging all over their scruffy high school sweeties would trap them like prey. They would close their jaws so slowly their mates wouldn't even notice. Those girls would grow into suffocating women; their love, once a warm blanket, would become a straightjacket.