Automatic Birds / Spontaneous Generation


Automatic Birds

We were lying on the couch together, listening to the birds sing.

“They don’t sound real,” I said. “When I listen to their voices, all I hear is synthesizers. Beep. Boop. Beep. Boop. It’s a chiptune. I can’t believe that they are alive.”

“What?” she said. “I don’t understand.”

She thought they sounded beautiful, spontaneous.

We broke up three years later.

 

Spontaneous Generation

“I am so tired of hearing people pine for some romantic past before science where nothing was explained.”

I was kneeling on the bathroom floor, afflicted with food poisoning. My boyfriend was speaking rapidly to me through the door. He was inspired now. Nothing would shut him up.

“Imagine a man in Ancient Greece opens a sack of rice to find hundreds of tiny recluse spiders inside. You and I, we know that the rice must have been contaminated with spider eggs. Tough shit, you buy a new bag of rice. But that man, in his infinitely rich, boundlessly magical universe, he’ll never swallow a mouthful of rice again without choking. He will be begin to suspect flour as well, and when he must make bread, he will knead the dough tenderly, feeling for scorpions.”

I opened my mouth to vomit, but nothing came out. All I could do was watch the toilet water ripple and listen to him monologue. I focused on his voice and tried to relax the muscles in my chest.

“That’s the horror of the virgin birth,” he said. “The thought that an untouched piece of meat could spawn flies.”

I threw up.

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