Dr. Roger, an eminent child psychiatrist holding degrees from the Child Study Association of America and the Center for Young Adult Relations, sits down for a counseling session with author John M. Cusick, who holds a thermos of coffee.
DR: Thanks for taking the time to chat, John. Can I call you John?
JMC: Sure. Should I call you Roger, or?
DR: Dr. Roger is fine.
DR: Well, quite a day. I had four students in worrying about “impure thoughts.” I should just have a tape recorder on my desk that says “it’s perfectly normal!” Haha!
DR: The job of a school counselor is never done. So tell me, John. Do you ever feel disassociated?
JMC: Sometimes, I guess. You know you have those days when all your friends are busy, and you’re alone, and you start to wonder if…
DR: They’re really your friends at all?
JMC: No, I mean…
DR: Interesting. Do you spend a lot of time on the world-wide web?
JMC: Ha! I haven’t heard it called that in years.
DR: How old are you?
DR: You’ve got some gray hair.
JMC: Yeah, I know. I’ll probably be gray by thirty, like my dad.
DR: Interesting you jumped so quickly to your father. Tell me about your mother.
DR: What? Here’s a question. Do you know what “technophilia” is?
JMC: I can guess.
DR: Have you ever had thoughts about your computer? “Impure thoughts,” let’s say?
JMC: Huh? No!
DR: I see. John, I’m going to recommend something a little radical. Can I do that? May I? Please?
DR: I’d like to recommend you for Sakora Solutions’ Companion Program. It’s very new, very exciting. They have a questionnaire you can take. I think one of their synthetic Companions might be right for you. Perhaps the Violet model. Would you say you have a “type”?
JMC: Of robot? Wait, do you really think I need this? You don’t know anything about me—
DR: Take a catalog. I think you’ll like what you find.
JMC: You are…a terrible counselor.
DR: Hmm? I couldn’t hear you over my robovac.
JMC: Oh yeah, sorry. I spilled some coffee.
DR: That’s all the time we have I’m afraid. Let’s check back in a week, shall we?
JMC: I have the strangest feeling your robovac is watching me.
DR: Oh, don’t let Daryl scare you.
DR: See you in a week!