Image from "The Human Robot" by Lester Del Rey
Image from “The Human Robot” by Lester Del Rey

Interviewer: What would you say is your dominant emotion?
Lester: Uncomfortable.
I: What makes you uncomfortable?

L: Different things…

L: Well, like take sex.
I: Take it.
L: Y’know, sure, take sex. I like having sex. I think I like having it. I mean you probably do too, I bet. No offense. Never mind. I like it. I think there’s a lot I’d do to have sex.
I: [comment re: sex, re: sex being a common motivator for action historically, probe re violent action]
L: No, no. Nothing like that. Not like one of those guys on TV. But like, one time I had this job, and like, but there was this girl there? Woman? However she identified age-wise. Maturity-wise. And I really liked her.

L: Right, sex. That was one of the things at issuance. And I said that to her. In so many words. Really like a lot of words, except none of them was the word
sex. And she said she couldn’t because we were at the same job. Or not the same job because she was lower than me but on her way up and I was stuck in the middle probably for duration, although I liked to think then that I could be on my way up soon. But she said it would be uncomfortable if we were both working at the job-place and the sex and what if it didn’t work out.
L: Right, so I agreed. It would be uncomfortable. Then I interpreted that as in I should quit the job-place, or the job, and so
I did. And then she didn’t want to, y’know.
L: The sex, sure.
I: And that made you uncomfortable?
L: Not so much uncomfortable as impotent and self-disgusted and really pretty stupid, but those emotions combined in
my head and like also I had this stomach ulcer going at the time too not as a result but maybe aggravated by, all that I would say contributed to the general feeling of uncomfortable. I think like, that I told the wrong story though?
L: Well you said how am I uncomfortable and I said take sex. So I was having sex with my ladyfriend last week—
L: Well, I do so have a ladyfriend. What kind of interview is this?
I: A journalistic one.
L: Like for TV?
I: Sort of like that. This one won’t be going on TV. It won’t be going anywhere if we don’t get on with it…
L: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean as to like make offense. Me and my ladyfriend right? And I finished early, which I worry about, and try not to, except generally I finish early anyways. And sometimes the thinking about finishing early, and trying not to finish early, makes me finish early. So that happened and was an issue, and then she whips out her vibrator and turns on the TV. And puts on this documentary about rape. And they say, like, how alcohol is the number-one date rape drug. Which I knew and vaguely remembered from sex ed from school. But then like, how much alcohol does it take for rape to be in occurrence? And it affects men and women and small and big differently. I’m a little guy but I’m also a guy. So my first thought is that I’m a serial rapist. And I have to call all three of the women I’ve had sex with (well call the two and talk to the one lying next to me) about how alcohol may have been a factor. But I’m glad that, the most recent sex, that was free and clear. Because we hadn’t been drinking. But then I thought, you know, drinking is all just chemicals in the brain, isn’t it? And what if you’re sick or even just tired, or you’re in different places emotionally. She looked kind of bored when we were sexing just then. But then I felt kind of tired, too. So had I been raping her or had she been raping me?

I: So what’d you say?
L: Well the enormity of all the rape going on kind of overwhelmed me. So I kind of just said, ‘rape.’ And then she looked at me and turned her thingie off. And said typical. And then turned over and kept vibrating.

L: I took four Benadryl and didn’t sleep.