The Language of Love

I grew up well-off, so of course all my friends were imaginary. I'd interact with them by phone, like everybody else, but my parents had paid for mine to be safer than people, kinder and more human. So you can imagine I wouldn't have been a good panel member in a Turing Test reality show. The main side effect was I guess bafflement. People would surprise me being inconsistent, having bad timing, or forgetting things, like really buggy soft. I would always go back to social programs, but my parents' therapist AI made them block them just enough that I would have to seek out people.

It was hard, and a stupid idea, and I suffered a lot, but they weren't the first parents to do something like that with good intentions, right? I did find somebody I felt comfortable with, but that was because he had had a similar childhood. We figured out a way to bypass the settings, and talk to each other through our phones. He's kind of an asshole without them filtering out maybe half of what he says, but with a good translator between us we worked together well. Not what my parents had had in mind, but we wear clothes, and that's kind of the same. We have manners, makeup, we say "Glad to meet you" when we never are. That's just more of that, and we are happy.

I smiled at my daughter, said You'll be happy too, and waited for the program to translate what I had said to whatever it was my daughter needed to hear after her first breakup.