My Best Friend is a Robot by Brady Gerber is a story about a man named Dave and his descent into an existential nightmare and the equivalent of the last other person on earth holding you under the water until you drown, then dying of a heart attack, thus leaving you unharmed but alone forever.
“Dave was lonely because his wife and children did not like him.”
Dave is a playwright, a theater enthusiast and an Olympic-tier stoic. His wife can’t stand him because he’s not rich, his kids think he’s soft and he lives under the shadow of his in-laws the entire time. But on Christmas eve, after Dave is subjected to his family’s fits over the outdated eyePhone models he bought them, he decides that enough is enough.
If he won’t have a friend in the world, then by golly he’s gonna build himself one!
“Dave was very happy when he was with Arthur, much more happier than when he was with his family”
My best Friend is a Robot is one of those stories I stumble upon that is science fiction rooted into life. In my line of work, I have met a number of Daves like the one in the story; people who put up living under the shadow and constant nagging of their spouses, their families or in-laws, who choose to put up with the life that’s been dealt to them because hey, it’s not like you can just give up your entire crappy life and start over!
Dead-end marriages or relationships, choosing the devils you know instead of what might wait beyond, these are the horrors of our everyday life, tiny personal Hells that take place behind closed doors. We like to think that this isn’t happening. That maybe one day things will turn around. That you’re just going through a rough patch with your boyfriend or that your parents might one day see things your way and your kids will respect you.
That’s a roundabout way of saying: No thank you, I like it here in my little hell.
- 3500 words
- Brady Gerber is a publisher for the website Headphone Nation
- You can’t help but feel that Dave kinda deserved all this, toward the end.
- This story is included in the So it goes-A Tribute to Kurt Vonnegut anthology by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.
- But seriously, this one broke my heart.
Konstantine Paradias is a Greek science fiction and fantasy writer. He has a blog, called Shapescapes (shapescapes). He’s also hard at work writing a book about Mongols in Zastavas, tearing through Asia all the way to your back yard. He has been offered a chance to know the moment of his demise, which he described as ‘hillarious’.
For comments or plain old contact, you can find him at firstname.lastname@example.org