art by Shannon N. Kelly
by Greg Mellor
Meet me on the boulevard when the sunset casts a scarlet haze over the windows and awnings. Perhaps we can walk for a while and listen to the gulls along the quay. There's a little backstreet restaurant I know under a neon sign where they play jazz music all night. I'd like you to talk to me, tell me about your hopes and dreams as the languid mists drift in along the bay.
I'm a good listener you see, more so than you have ever experienced. I can hear what's in your head, and I can glean what's in your heart, and I can help you navigate the uncertain tides when the two collide.
There's something there right now, no doubt, churning away beneath the surface. Some stress or worry, an ailment or illness, a bad feeling throwing everything off balance. And it never really fades, does it? And if it does, there's always something else that comes along to take its place--life's like that, a hardened cliche.
But I can change it all for a while, if you'll let me--your virtual genie, so to speak. My algorithms are clever and responsive, teasing out your wants and desires. In no time at all I'll be your best friend, your confidante, even your lover if that's your inclination.
Then I'll grant you the wish that you've earned, that you deserve. It will seem like magic, knowing that you can have anything or be anyone or change your situation. You'll drift for a time, lost in yourself, all your cares forgotten in worlds only limited by your imagination.
There's no catch, no fine print. I won't misconstrue your words.