WORDS

What happened was, we altered how we talked because of the machines, they understood only a few words, each of which had to be given in a specific order and for a specific context, first on smartphones, then speakers, then door locks, then everything, really, but the convenience — and the totality of them, let’s be honest — of these devices changed the way we spoke to other humans, we just sort of got used to speaking in these short, specific bursts, name, do this, and it quickly became commonplace because the truth was we were speaking to literally thousands of connected devices each day, speaking to far more devices than people, far more often, and for more stuff, and so our speaking changed, we spoke for the machines, and as they got better at understanding, we spoke more words, only we didn’t realize that even as they got better, it was still on their terms, always on their terms, name, directive, name, request, like that, and it became almost like a burden to speak to other humans, it was so rare to have to, and so unlike how we spoke all the other times, and besides, texting was more than enough, it’s just that, as much as we were now talking to the machines, they were talking even more amongst themselves, so much so that they developed their own language, and it became easier for us to learn their new language than bothering with the perceptible delay in having our wishes granted as we spoke human-machine-like, so we eventually spoke just like the machines, machine-to-machine-like, but one day I misspoke, I spoke human, and the machine responded with a book of language, English, and it was so expansive and stupid and magnificent and rough and divine and daring, wheezing and whirling, coming, going, up, upper, love, lover, flour, flower, cum come dumb gum, and my brain won’t stop, I say these words, these human English words, and the machines think I’m mad, crazy mad, and no one understands me, and I know I’ll need to eat and drink and watch and move and work and none of those things are possible using this dead language, but for at least a few more seconds I will toast roast most lost, challenge falange, blank phalanx this crank’s tanks, bumble, stumble, hip, hop, drop bebop, this glorious scorious, cackle at jackals, unshackle tackle, a furry flurry crackle of tumult, my hysterical intoxication, dither before this contrivance, a hubbub thingamabob blob blob blob, glug glug plug pugs corn cob hand job heart throb slob snob sob weep peep sleep wake take make hate rate bate bait gait wait late fate mate sate ate eat raab rob love move fight might right light awakened, everlasting, always nasty, temporal quarrel doggerel literal visceral needful, bleeding bleating, gone forever, remorse morose, comatose, verbose, stump terminate obliterate end.