Chirp (Rewrite)

[This is a rewrite of this. My goal was to maintain the tone but reduce the number of words. I wasn't entirely successful, but I like the result.]

In all honesty, I was surprised it didn't happen sooner.

The last day of my old life was a day off. I rolled out of bed late, and stumbled to my bathroom. I'd stayed up late watching a special on the Colorado Springs Kibbutz, a community that forbade the use of all electronics. How could anyone live like that, I wondered?

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The bathroom mirror was alive with a snarl of e-mail, notices, and spam. My hand was so cold from poor circulation that I had to run it under warm water to get the volume button on the touchscreen to register my touch.

I showered, and the stall chuckled encouragingly at me. The previous occupant of my apartment hadn't removed his software, and my Rental agreement said I couldn't tamper with anything pre-installed.

So everything in the apartment had words for me. My predecessor had been some kind of ubicomp wunderkind who brought his work home.

That must be why the rent is so cheap, I decided as I showered.

After I toweled off I put on my bathrobe, a parting gift from my ex, a size too big and Klein Blue. Formerly, it had been a white elephant. Now it was my favorite: it made my appliances uncomfortable.

Okay, so they weren't actually aware. But they never shut up.

This was about a week after Amputee Mafia got Yokoed by the bassists boyfriend, which I use as a reference because that happened the day the Houseplant Liberation League showed up at my door to tell me it was a misdemeanor to keep a plant in a stationary pot.

I liked that fern, but they had a court order that allowed them to remove it. Maybe it's in a motile pot, now, running around a farm upstate.

In my kitchen, and my coffeemaker had turned on. It gurgled, brewing Your favorite cup of coffee!

It wasnt. It so wasnt.

The coffeemaker didn't make coffee: it had been set to make tepid brown water. I filled up my saucepan with too-weak coffee.

That dish was my favorite. It was mine. Didnt come with the apartment. Never said a damn thing. I put it on low heat, hoping to evaporate out the excess moisture and leave real coffee behind.

Your milk has gone bad, the refrigerator chided. You shouldn't drink it.

On the other hand, my skillet sounded like an auto-tuned Japanese schoolgirl. I hated this piece of cookware, but I had a hunger for eggs. That meant the skillet.

I tossed in some butter and two fresh-cracked eggs, and the pan said: Good morning! How are you today?

I took a wooden spoon and stirred the coffee; I took the spatula and prodded the eggs.

I can't hear you! How are you going to start your day with an attitude like that!?

I checked the bottom of the eggs. I liked them crispy, so I tended to wait before putting other things in. This is part of why I hated the skillet so much.

I went to the fridge, and tried to open it.

I told you that your milk has gone bad. Did you hear me? Y/N? it mummed to me.

I mashed my finger on the Y.

Hey, flip your eggs!

Was this information helpful to you? The screen showed the Y/N pair again.

I mashed N.

Why not? A menu showed up, with a dozen and a half different options. None we're shut up.

Cancel! I shouted.

Your eggs are burning!

Im sorry, I don't think I understood, did you want to place an order for eggs?

Cancel! Abort!

Im sorry, I don't have any port. I'm querying your MyLiquorCabinet account now.

Stop! Open!

Your eggs are burning!

Im sorry, you don't have any port wine. Confirm on the left side of the screen that you would like to order some . . . Do I understand you want burnt ends? the fridge asked, bringing up a list of barbeque deliveries on the right side of the screen.

End! I shouted.

My upstairs neighbor stomped loudly.

Your eggs are now burnt. Please turn off your stove.

The refrigerator heard me, and it's screen went dark. The wheel the color thing that circles around when your computer crashes? That. appeared and began to turn.

Your stove is still on!

Turn off your stove! my upstairs neighbor shouted down.

Turn me off! my stove agreed.

When the cops busted down my door, my stove was yelling that my soup was boiling off, and I was hammering a shrieking skillet into my refrigerator, which reminded me on every back-swing that my lease forbade vandalizing any Gibson Apartments Appliance: Youre risking your security deposit!

Well, the police beat me senseless, and I got to thinking about that kibbutz in the back of the patrol car.

And, you know, it didn't sound half bad.

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Posted in Moving and Relocating Post Date 09/30/2021


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