My creator is shivering. She tells me that she shivers because it is cold, because it is winter. She tried to explain the concept to me once months ago. But that was back when the world outside was greener; back when she still was pacing the lab in a sunhat and sandals, talking about cutting her hair short and sipping her lemonade with an expression she has said was pleasure.
Spring is warm and green, she had told me that day, her lips flexing upward in the way they did when she was teaching me, Summer is unforgivably hot, Fall is cool and dead but colorful at the same time, and Winter
winter is cold. I always listen very closely to everything my creator says. She knows many things and having been brought into commission only seven months, one week, two days, four hours, and seventeen minutes from this moment I still have much to learn. Like what cold is, and why it makes her shake and wear an overabundance of clothing.
Its like all of my circuits are being pushed to the extreme. She tried to explain, her words muffled slightly by the blanket that enveloped her entire body, Its like...my programs wont function properly because theres a bug or a virus...
I have never had such problems with my system as the Creator crafted me well. And it didnt compute that the creator would let herself suffer so when a scientist such as herself would be able to fix anything.
Oh Bot, she whispered, a strange expression that I had not yet recorded in my memory banks crossing her face, Its not so simple for humans.
She has tried to explain the difference between humans and robots to me too, but she has since ceased talking about human things that revolve around what she calls sensations and feelings.
Every time I try to explain it to you, you just
sit there and try and rationalize it. Her lip was trembling when she said that, and her eyes were wide (all the while my system was flashing error: expression not found in my head), Some things just cant be rationalized Bot. I wish you could learn that.
I have tried to do as my creator has bid; I have thought long and hard upon the subject but my programs get jumbled every time I try to enter the notion that not all things can be rationalized into my system databanks. It does not compute. The idea that not all things can be rationalized is not rational. But despite the error messages I keep receiving, I shall press on, reboot, and try again. My creator seems to appreciate my efforts as she smiles when I talk to her about it. According to my data bank, smiles are a positive sign. But still, despite what my systems say, the smiles she gives me at those times are different. They do not match the normal schematics of a smile as the left side of her lips rise several centimeters higher than the right during these times (I shall have to study this paradox at length at a later time.).
And although I have come to know most of my makers routines she still occasionally surprises me. This morning for instance, I booted my systems up to discover that the lab around me had changed overnight. My creators lab is fairly bare. The walls are white, and aside from a few computers, a desk, and a handful of whirring machines there is little else. In the beginning, my creator used to keep a picture of a man at the desk, but it has since been removed. So it did not make sense that my creator would suddenly be in the mood to decorate. I have always taken my creator to be a practical woman with no need for flair and fancy designs that serve no purpose to enhancing functions. And yet she had decorated the lab for some reason. There were wreaths hanging from the windows, strange strands of lights hanging around the doorways, and a single evergreen tree in the corner
Oh, Bot! she exclaimed, smiling as she hung round baubles on the tree, Youve finally booted up. Come over here and help me with the tree.
Noiselessly I complied, and handed her one of the round baubles that was just out of her reach. After a moment of silent observations I asked her what she was doing.
Decorating. She replied. It didnt immediately occur to her to elaborate, but she eventually turned towards me once again, a small frowna down turning of lips that usually indicated negativityon her lips.
Oh, thats right. This is your first Christmas, isn't it Bot?
Christmas...I had never heard the word before. The creator seemed to realize this fairly quickly and explained.
Christmas is a holiday; a...celebration if you will, with a long history and various traditions associated with it. How its celebrated tends to differ from culture to culture and even from person to person. But...for me...Christmas is about love and family. Christmas isnt just Christmas without family, you know? I did not know, but I did not tell my creator this. Her eyes were unfocused, and it appeared to me as if she was seeing something that I could not.
...That does not compute.
The creator looked up sharply at me. ...What?
I repeated myself. My creator sighed. What doesnt compute Bot? The part about love?
No. I had immediately disregarded the sensory-related information shed related to me about the holiday as my systems didnt know what to make of it. But I couldn't tell her that. Instead I inquired about one of the more concrete ideas shed presented.
She had stated that Christmas was not Christmas without family. As we were the only ones in the lab, I enquired if that meant it wasnt Christmas.
The creator gave me an unidentifiable look (I recorded it in my memory bank for further analysis at a later time). N-no. Even without family Christmas will still come. I just meant...you know...Christmas doesnt feel like Christmas without family. And besides, she added with one of her not-quite-a-smile smiles, I have you dont I?
Her statement did not compute. I asked her to elaborate.
I...I mean I...well...were kind of like a family, right? Im...Im like the mama, and you...you... she reached out and touched the top of my head softly. Her eyes bore into my optics as if she were trying to ask a question without using words (which was just silly really since Im only programmed to understand communication via speech) .
Youre the baby. She whispered, My baby. So were a family.
I recited every definition for family from my memory bank right there. We were not a family by any definition that I understood. My creators lack of understanding of the word family perplexed me. She was smart, brilliant even. Such a mundane mistake should have been beyond her.
Bot, oh Bot...family... its more than all that. Family is less about biology and more about love. Its...its...Well, its something you wouldnt understand I suppose. She told me, her tone shaper than usual. My creator suddenly pulled me into her arms, pale human figure stark against my blue-gray exterior. Her lips trembled.
Youre cold, She whispered. Very cold. Maybe I should turn up the heat, so that way...youll be able to warm up a bit. Would you like that Bot?
It didnt make one bit of a difference to me, so I remained silent as she fussed and put me beside a vent that was apparently pushing warm air into the room. She watched me sit there for a time but eventually wandered off to finish decorating the tree and put out a wreath with candlesshe called it an advent wreathon the desk.
Are you warmer now? She asked. I was silent. I did not know how to respond. I did not know what warm was aside from what she had told me. Warm was spring, and that was all I knew. She put a hand against my paneling once more and let out a sigh. Much better. Youre not frigid anymore at least. My creator let out a sigh and looked across the room to the dying evergreen tree she had decorated with brightly colored baubles and lights.
"How silly of me...to think...you'd understand." She whispered softly, almost too softly for my audio receptors to pick up, "But you...it's just...how silly of me."
The 25th of December came and passed. My creator added a few gigs of memory to my banks as what she called a Christmas present. On the 26th I booted my systems up and found the lab had returned to normal. But after the 25th the Creator wasnt quite the same. The not-quite-smiles were the only sort of smile I ever saw anymore, and she frowned with greater frequency than ever before.
I do not understand; it does not compute. I wish to understand, and I will try to understand. Only time will tell if I will be successful or not.