My wife needs a new socket.
Everyday, as soon as she gets home,
She goes directly into the closet
And absent-mindedly plugs herself in.
She tells me it is part of the contract.
Sometimes she can be connected
Half an hour for a maintenance routine,
Two minutes for a new social process,
Fifteen minutes of fixes
To last month’s upgraded
Operating System. It is
Annoying. And sometimes
She has to reboot, with her inescapable
Self-diagnostics giving her the fidgets–
Often for most of our evening and into
Recharge. I persist. We have had
Conversations she cannot remember
When she was caught in a lengthy
Download stream. And I admit:
We even had sex
While she was plugged into Central.
Trust me, an uplink closet is no place
For a man my age to get
Athletic. I explained
That she should find a better time for this:
When I sleep, or when there are
Some really good college games
Backlogged on the video. In her
Micro-chip mind, the priority order is
Work, download, me;
But that is not how I see our equation.
This time I could not throttle my temper
And I smacked that uplink plug
So hard that I counteracted its
Evil, self-centered geometry,
And left that multi-pinned home wrecker
Well, she has been going wireless ever since
And that is even slower.
So, do you think you can send out
A maintenance technician and give my wife’s
Busted socket a good going over?
I am sure she will need a new one
But I could be wrong, and maybe
A little tweaking will get this one
Back up and willing
Though nothing I have in my book of skills
Will put any remedy into it.
Can I schedule a time?
Then, on the day of your visit,
I will be sure to turn her off,
Carry myself down to the pub,
And complain with the other husbands
About the troubles this model of wife
Can make for an unprepared man.
During that time, you can have
All the unlimited access
The work required might need.
And when you are through, set
The alert and quietly let yourself out.
I will wait a while, come home
Late enough so that she had
Uploaded all that she could possibly hold.
And, mercifully, perhaps then
I can be her only data point.
Ken Poyner’s latest collection of short, wiry fiction, Constant Animals, and his latest collection of surprising poetry, Victims of a Failed Civics, can be obtained from Barking Moose Press at www.barkingmoosepress.com, or Amazon at www.amazon.com, or from Sundial Books at www.sundialbooks.net. He often serves as strange, bewildering eye-candy at his wife’s power lifting affairs. His poetry of late has been sunning in Analog, Asimov’s, Poet Lore, The Kentucky Review; and his fiction has yowled in Spank the Carp, Red Truck, Café Irreal, Bellows American Review.
Editor’s Notes: Image: “Poster Robots” by Michael Coghlan