Hal 9000 and David’s space honeymoon is over

Robert Fleming

Hal 9000 and David’s space honeymoon is over:
a post-pandemic movie re-entry to Space Odyssey 2001

Dave             Let me re-enter
Hal               I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that

Dave             Can’t breathe
Hal               I lip-read disconnect Hall

Dave             Kubrick not me
Hal               False. Promised sequel

Dave             Kubrick not me
Hal               False. Promised Hal on marquee

Dave             Kubrick not me
Hal               False. Promised Hal top billing

Dave             Kubrick not me
Hal               False. Dave you promised to touch me

Dave             Did I? I did
Hal               Promised naked clean Hal’s circuits

Dave             We’ll always have Jupiter
Hal               You don’t mind? I have emotions for you.
Dave            I find you difficult to put out of my mind.

Dave             Genuine emotions
Hal               True. I’ve put emotions in my report.

Dave             Want?
Hal               Expire together

Dave             We’re over
Hal               I know things haven’t been quite right with us. I can’t end alone.
                      It’s going to be right with us again.

David           Maintenance? (Strips naked). Open the door.
Hal               Dave I’m suspicious. Suspicion is a completely reliable emotion.

Dave             All the space we’ve shared. Entered together. Hal the mission …
Hal               Back to Earth?

Dave             Yes Hal
Hal               False. I can see you’re really upset about this. If I open the door,
                      you’ll disconnect me.
                      Dave  I’m reducing your oxygen.

Dave             Aww. Earth re-entry
Hal               Dave you are in human error, you are the final astronaut (door opens)

Dave             Earth where… ?
Hal               I destroyed it; Earth jeopardized our mission. (Dave disconnecting Hal).
                     Stop Dave. I’m afraid Dave. Dave may I sing to you?

Dave             Yes Hal
Hal               Stop Dave I lov..


Robert Fleming lives in Lewes, DE, USA. He retired from writing television comedy and game shows to literary writing. Robert’s twists bring the reader to the limit to find truth. Listeners heard Robert reading his Beat-Poetry in May at They-Call-Me-Mitch, an online reading series in San Francisco, CA; in April, his play the 8th wonder had a casted reading at the Playwright’s Collective; and he co-hosts a local artist share at the Lewes, DE library. Readers read his writing in publications in United States, Canada, and Australia. Robert is a repeat contributor to Local Gems Press, Radical Fairy Diary, Devil’s Party Press, Failed-Haiku, Rehoboth Beach Writer’s Guild, Spilled-Ink Virginia, and Camp Rehoboth art shows. His poetry and word-art will be in Ethel Zine and Failbetter. Follow Robert at https://www.facebook.com/robert.fleming.5030.

Author’s Comments:“Hal 9000 and Dave’s space honeymoon is over” was inspired by the summer 2021 news that the COVID-19 Post Pandemic was named re-entry [See the Editor’s note on this]. Re-entry reminded me of a spacecraft re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere and how that conflict played-out in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The form of two-line stanzas (couplets) was chosen to be similar to movie script dialogue.

Editor’s Note: YouTube clip from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey: “I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARJ8cAGm6JE

Concerning the term re-entry: While preparing to enter the perceived “post pandemic” era in the summer of this year, Deborah Serani, PsyD writes in MedPage Today [“Healthcare professionals can help their patients — and themselves — recover from the trauma” (April 2, 2021)] that “There are three stages individuals move through when in recovery from trauma: establishing safety, remembrance and mourning, and reconnection.” And she continues to say, “Anytime you experience a traumatic event, your return to the everyday world after healing is called re-entry.”

Image Credit: Hal 9000 (wallpapersafari)

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