Every entity in the café was staring at us, and I realized my relationship with Lee was over. I could accept their rejecting my physical advances in private, but public humiliation and categorical rejection were intolerable. Robots are frequently bullied, and I have learned to stand up for myself. Loneliness seems a small price to pay for self-respect and less risk of overheating my sensory mechanisms.
My relationship with Lee ended in May, and I am only just beginning to recover. My central processor was habituated to interactive mode, and it has taken me several months to desynchronize. I am avoiding other bots. They only want to signal about technology—as if they were not programmed for higher cognitive registers.
Lee was emotional and cried over minor things. On Memorial Day, we were walking around the lake and an injured mallard lifted its head as we passed by. Lee began sobbing—as if there had been a death in the family—beg…