Life Experiments » Y G H M®: the stories, yo
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Life Experiments

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“This s*it is stressful, right?”, I ask my companion robot as I put on my tie. (4/22/2018)

“Well”, she replies as she straightens the windsor knot, “remember that you programmed me to help.”

“Yeah”, I reply as I turn my head to look at the mirror, “I agree but I think there´s a better way to go about it.”

This is my first day working in the call center on Planet MIDNT; been a while since I did shit like this.  I enjoyed my short stint teaching nativelingistical theory but, ultimately, it was not for me; I sigh.

Here goes nothing, I think.

You´re going to do great, my wife thinks back to me from our house in Dorinto.

Kill it at your job today, HR thinks from her 3rd class of the day in her college classroom.

Thanks, I think back to them, and, moments later, they get the charge, nearly, instantly.

“Remember”, my companion robot speaks to me, “that the secret is to make a good impression and then to keep to yourself–keep focused on producing assets and don´t be a drag: there´s always room for the person with a great attitude.”

“Yeah”, I reply as I open the door in the dressing room in the clothing department store, “I´m going to put my great attitude up your

Remember to pause before speaking, my wife thinks to me.

up your… I mean… Thanks!”, I tell my companion robot as I take a step out of the dressing room.

I hadn´t brought any ties, or dress clothes, for that matter, to my new job on this planet; a quick detour to look good on my first day.

“Ready to impress”, I tell my companion robot as we take a step out of the store and into the dark green smog of this planet; I wish they would do something about it, I think to no one.

“Well”, my companion robot replies, “that is your job–to find a way to make cleaning it profitable, right?”

“Yup”, I reply as I button my black blazer.

“So how´d it go?”, the doctor asks me as he types on his keyboard.

“Yeah”, I reply as I lean back in the chair in the small office, “I didn´t get the job.”

He continues typing the notes as he looks at the computer; what if we changed that? He leans back in his chair; as a second thought, he turns his head to me.


“Yeah”, I reply as I turn my head to look away and out the window, “more or less.”

That would be the third book in the series; these things are helping, a bit.

It´s late September 2010. I´ve just arrived in Bogota. I´m tired from the trip; perhaps, I slept a bit on the plane. I have one more flight to make before I get there; it leaves in about 45 minutes.

I take a sip of water from my aluminum bottle; it tastes a bit metallic; maybe, it´s just in my head.

I go back to the water fountain and fill it up again for the flight. Anything else?, I think as I prepare, mentally, for the next flight; more importantly, when I get there, what am I going to do; what is going to happen?I really don´t know; I just know that, in this moment, everything seems ok. Moments later, I get on the final flight; moments after that, I realize that I left the water bottle in the bathroom. I pause, for another moment, then I realize–

I´m ok.

I can survive without the water bottle; it´s ok–I´m ok.

“You´re not welcome here”, the letter says on the table, “just accept it.” (4/25/2018)

I pick it up; set it down on the table. I hope the guy on the couch gets it; gets him thinking.

“What´s up?”, he says as he sits up and opens his eyes; he was asleep.

“Oh no”, I reply as I pick up the note again and crumple it in my hand.

I turn my head to him.

“Hey”, I ask him as he reaches over for the bag of papitas, “why are you still here?”

He pauses.

“What´s up?”, he asks as he reaches into the bag of papitas, “didn´t you get my rent check?”

I pause.

“You pay rent?”

“Yeah”, he replies as he puts a handful of papitas into his mouth, “thanks again for letting me stay here.”

“Oh”, I say as I turn my head away and toss the note into the trashcan, “yeah… it´s cool.”

I pause.

“Hey”, I turn my head back to him and take a step towards the hallway, “I´m heading to the store to get some food–you need anything?

“Yeah”, he replies as he tosses the empty bag of papitas on to the linoleum in the kitchen, “more snacks.”

I pause; I look at the trash on the floor.

“I would like you to get a new place.”

He pauses.


“Ok”, I reply.

“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”


I pause; this is a turning point.

I turn my head away from the guy on the couch and then back to him.

“I´m going to give you 2 weeks to find a new place.”

The guy on the couch turns his head back to me.


“And”, I tell my wife as I reach over for the digitalzanahorias, “that´s what I told him.”

She pauses; what am I going to do now?

She turns her head away and looks out the window.

“So are you going to pay the rent now that we just lost?”


“Yeah”, she replies as she reaches over for the digitalpapas on the dinner table, “you made a decision. Are you going to handle the consequences–are you going to pay the rent now?

She pauses.

“I mean”, she says as she takes a deep breath, “I know that my companion robot is annoying but it is really helping.”

I pause; that was her companion robot?

“What?”, I reply as I lean back in the chair in the kitchen, “I didn´t know.”

She replies as she leans back in her chair, “yup.”

“And”, I continue to the class as I turn on the videoprojector and put the slide up.

“I have a question”, a student calls out.

I turn my head from the digitalblackboard to the student.

The student pauses; should I say something now?

“Is this a true story?”

It was the 12th point; Dorinto had changed in the last few decademilleniums; I had been teaching this class for so long; kind of on autopilot; in a trance? I hadn´t changed up the curriculm in a long time. Did I need to change things in the class? Was it effective still? I talk about innovation and progress; am I still in that mindset?

The class ends; I leave the auditorium and turn off the lights; been teaching this class for a while; what will happen in the next semester?

What to me is the equivalent of taking a shot for goal if, when, I get put into the game?

How can I walk away without feeling that I never tried?

What is the goal or objective of what I am doing?

What is the biggest success in what I am doing?

What will let me walk away with my head held high?

How can I let it go?

How can I try?

The digitalCD is repeating in the spacejet as I look out the window on the drive back home; I pause; I hit forward to go to the next track; the bass kick hits, then the snare; I smile; I look forward in the spacejet.

“I´m just being nice so you will leave without a confrontation”, I tell the robotcompanion. (5/11/2018)

“But”, the robotcompanion replies as his right arm starts spinning, “I´m a nice guy.”

He pauses; why isn´t this working?

He starts talking again.

“I´m a fungi.”

Smokes starts to come out of his left knee.

“No”, he replies, “I´m a fun person.  I mean human. No, wait. Guy. I´m a cool guy.”

I throw the taza at him; the coffee hits him in the face; the liquid starts to short out the digitalcircuit in his head; his right arm stops spinning; smoke stops coming out of his knee.

You don´t have to pay rent anymore; I bought the fucking robot, I think to my wife and she gets the message, nearly, instantly.

Thank you!, she thinks back to me.

The barista turns his head to me; I put a finger up in the air.

Check, I think to him.

Moments later, I put my money on the tray for the coffee and biscotti; leaving a 15% tip, I can´t help but think:

How much my life has changed since I started taking responsibility for my actions; my future is up to my choices; if a road forks, you CAN take both paths; although, you can only walk one at a time; still, you can be doing both; you can both be the writer and the parent; just understand that you can only do one at a time; the secret?

Whatever you´re doing, do it.

Wherever you are, you are.

Wherever you´re not, you´re not.

When you choose, you make decisions.

When life is hard, it is.

When you´re sad, be completely devastated.

When you´re happy, be totally exuberant.

When you hold back, be unapologetically aware.

When you don´t think, stop yourself.

If you go, you´re gone.

If you come back, you´re back.

So how´d it go?

I stop writing on the napkin at the small cafe; I turn my head to look out the bay window;

How my life has changed, yo.

I feel a vibration in my pocket; I pull my digitaltelephone out and check the message.

We need to talk, right now! Call me!!!

I pause; does he understand that we can´t go back in time? Does he understand that life is not about going back to change events, or how it happened, but having trust that the situation will arise again–and, you´ll get a second chance, but not with the same person?

I start writing the message.

I understand that you think that you were not GREAT as a friend. It´s ok. It´s how it was–I don´t think that you understand. You can´t keep calling me now–it´s ok, and always was. You need to understand, please, that EVERYONE, was going through the same. It´s fine because look at us now. Develop a trust in life that you will not get a second chance with the same person, but you WILL get a second chance to do the right thing. You will get a second chance to be the hero–you will get another opportunity–in a way, that you can´t yet imagine, to go again; you´ll have to accept how it was; if it makes you sad–it is because you are human: let go of the idea that you can change the past with an action in the present, yo!

I pause; I got to stop writing responses.

I continue typing the message on my digitaltelephone.

Here´s something that you can do: Go back to the very first idea in my first book, and try it: try to duplicate it in your present moment in your life; see where it goes?

The response comes 4.02988 nanoseconds later.

Wake up?

I type the response; will this ever end?

No. Set your alarm for 11am. It´s a rather innocuous action. You´re PROBABLY already awake, right? Nothing bad should really happen. I know that you are thinking that it can´t change anything. You are thinking that it´s not really an idea, but, maybe you can try it ONE TIME, yo? If you are at work, your alarm will sound and you´ll be a little embarassed, but then you can turn it off, and it will be ok. If you are by yourself, it can be annoying, but you can delete the setting after it happens. Wherever you are–maybe–it will be a way to remind yourself that you are there?

I hit play; the response is sent.

Ok, I did it.

I pause; this is my favorite part of the job. 

I start typing the idiomatic response on my digitaltelephone:

Ok, now delete the alarm or turn it off. You would be a pain for your coworkers or it could be a distraction if you´re by yourself. The advice in this? Make your own life decisions; tell us your current situation. Get us up to date with your present moment. Let me go so I can get back to work–the barista is staring at me as I type this on my phone. No response needed.

I hit play.

The response comes 2.93987 nanoseconds later.

Now, what do I do?

“You need to know that I´m in a cult and we do pet socks”, I tell HR. #cute (6/7/2018)

“Dad!”, she replies as she reaches over for the digitalpapitas, “why do you keep these things secret?”

“Well”, I reply as I lean back in my chair in the kitchen, “it´s not a secret–I just don´t know why you need, or would want, to know.”

“Well”, she replies as she puts a handful in her mouth, “I want to know YOU–more about you.”


I pause; should I tell her?

Go on–take a chance, my wife thinks to me.

“Ok”, I say as I lean forward and pick up my taza, “we have rules:

➡ No hugs–that creates feelings and makes things weird; just don´t.

➡ First names only–and don´t talk in public, or make eye contact. Trust me on this one.

➡ Pet Socks. You need to have pet socks for your cat. Just how things go!

➡ Even though your cat is part of the family, don´t make your avatar YOU and Your Cat; it´s a part of the family, but it´s still a cat.

➡ We´re respectful–we don´t like THAT behavior. You´ll be ostracized.

➡ We don´t really speak in CODE–the best bet is to be straight-forward and to talk like an adult.

➡ You need to have chill–it´s boring, that´s our thing. We don´t do bored–that´s the enemy.”

HR pauses; I can do those things.

She leans back in her chair.

“I want to be in your cult, dad”, HR says as she reaches for another handful of digitalpapitas.

“Well”, I say as I take a sip of coffee, “you can submit an application like everyone else.”

“How do I do that?”, she asks as she leans forward and picks up her taza.

“Oh!”, I reply as I take another sip of my coffee, “it´s easy–just say hi!”

“That´s it?”, she says as she takes a sip of her coffee, “I just say Hi!?”

“Well”, I reply as I lean back in my chair, “that´s how you start–it´s a process. It takes time to join my cult. You need to start somewhere;

Say hi!, and let me respond; see how it goes.”

“So”, she says as she chews the food in her mouth, “I just greet you with an introduction.”

“Woah! Woah! Woah”, I reply as I slam my taza on the table, “be fucking friendly or we´ll reject you from our cult.”

“So”, my wife says as she stirs the pot of digitalzanahorias, “are you going to accept her into your cult?”

“You know”, I reply as I recline the chair in the living room, “I don´t think she has the chill yet. She wants to bring drama around ´cause she´s bored. I don´t think it would be a good fit. I saw her pet socks–I saw her pet socks. She put a picture of the cat on her socks–we don´t do that. We get super small socks from the pet store and put them on our animals–you know, it just starts that way. You let one person join who doesn´t follow the rules–and next thing, you know, it´s anarachy and stress. I know she´s trying to be friends and she wants me more in her life–I just don´t think she understands–

That, it´s about how it naturally happens. Everyone has a plan.

We are more about less planning, controlling, and more friendly; there´s really not much more to it then that.”

“I think”, my wife says as she puts the platter on the kitchen table, “that you should let her in.”

“No”, I reply as I lean forward and pick up the digitalspoon, “we have rules for a reason. I respect her rights; that´s the foundation of everything; bringing her into my life, more, would be to bring her into the life of all those in my cult also–it would be irresponsible of me. I respect the rights of others; without rules, it would just be a cult–not a CULT.”

“Yeah”, my wife says as she puts the scoop of hot vegetables on to her plate, “whatever.”

I pause; yeah. I turn my head to look out the window; I turn back to my plate; I eat a spoonful; I turn my head to my wife.

“It´s delicious”, I tell her.

“Thanks”, she replies, “it´s a new recipe.”

“Understand that I does not exist–it´s simply WE and You“, I say as I sip the coffee. (6/10/2018)

“Yeah”, the barista says as he rolls his eyes, “so that´s great. Were you going to pay your bill?”

I chuckle.

“Yeah”, I reply as I pull my digitalwallet out of my pocket, “here put it on the chip.”

He waves the digitaltarjeta in front of the small receptor.  My digitaltelephone beeps; transaction alert.

“Thanks!”, he replies.

I pull the digitaltelephone out and hit propina 15%; his phone beeps in his pocket. I turn around and take a step to leave the small cafe.

“So”, my wife says as she turns to the refrigerator, “how did it go?”

I pause; sip my coffee; look out the window; back towards her.

“He still wants to be business partners”, I reply as I lean back in my chair in the kitchen, “I just don´t think that he understands the work–the responsibility, the commitment, the real side of being a writer.”

“You know”, she says as she places the plate into the digitaldryer rack, “you should give him a chance. It could be good for you.”

HR takes a step into the kitchen.

“Dad!”, she exclaims, “I got pet socks!”

I roll my eyes; lean forward and pick up my taza.

“You know”, I reply as I turn my head to her, “it´s not something we talk about.”

I pause; she wants to be on my team.

“Look”, I reply as I lean back and take a sip, “if you want to be on the team–stop.”

She turns her her to my wife; turns her head back to me.

“So”, she replies as she takes a step towards the kitchen table, “what are you saying?”

I pause; I sigh.

“You understand that it´s about the team. It´s what the team does–you don´t have to do something to be accepted. It´s about understanding that WE do this or WE do that; they don´t. You don´t have to have pet socks to be on the team. You just need to feel that WE do this or that. It´s just a place where you can fit in–it doesn´t mean to copy behavior. It´s like your mom with her HAKI habit–I don´t eat HAKI, but since we´re a team:

We do.

If your teammate does something, you do that–even if you don´t. Make sense? If you do something–we all are. If we let you on our team and you get good grades at school–we get good grades.  It´s why we´re selective–it´s about what WE want to do; it´s what WE accept. We want you on our team–let´s call it Team Pet Socks. Know that you don´t have to have pet socks to be on the team, but know, and feel, and accept, and internalize, that when you talk about your team, you say–we have pet socks. It´s team–not you.”

“So”, she replies as she looks down at the linoleum floor, “like what am I supposed to do with these pet socks? I don´t have the receipt to return them.”

“I´ll take them and we´ll put them on the cat.”

She hands the small package to me.

“Welcome to the team”, I say as I put my hand on her shoulder, “you headin´ back to school today?”

“Yeah”, she replies as she turns her head to me, “me and my girl wolfpack are taking a trip to the beach this weekend–I got to finish up my assignments and take my Economics exam on Friday.”

“Oh!”, I reply as I lean forward and set my taza down, “sounds like fun!”

She blushes.


She turns and takes a step towards the hallway; moments later, we hear the front door close.

My wife turns her head to me.

“Are you going to put those on the cat?”

I turn my head down to the small package on the kitchen table.

“No”, I reply as I hit recline on the side of the chair and lean back, “but it sounded good, right?”

My wife rolls her eyes.

“You´re such a jerk”, she says as she turns back towards the coffeemaker.

I pause.

“You´re right!”

I turn my head to look out the window; I turn my head to her; I pick up my coffee. I smile; I take a sip.