Author : Steve Ersinghaus

He gave away his parts at the proper time.

Downtown he saw a man without a foot, so he gave the man his foot. A friend told him that the box full of left shoes he put on the sidewalk was a good idea.

He gave his right arm to a construction company for they were in need of day labor and his right arm had always been his best.

“You’re fading in front of me,” his girl friend said. “We should discuss the benefits of travel through France.”

“Tomorrow,” he said. “I’ve heard about a town in Alaska in serious need of ears.”

He loved the train. He remembered the hammer of the mechanicals under the soles of his feet. But these were newer, faster trains. He disembarked somewhere in the middle of the country where the children asked, “How far can you kick with your robotic foot?” and “Those look like ear buds.”

“Because they are, you little shits,” he said. “And I’ll show you just how far I can kick. Come to me when you’re in serious need of livers.”

They needed eyes in Florida, testicles in Texas, whole shoulders in a small village in Queensland, legs here, fingers there. This neediness kept him busy. “You’re fading and fading fast,” his girl friend said. “You’re a machine and I sleep cold beside metal in the winter. We should seriously consider a cruise.”

“Some other time,” he said. “There’re dangerous places in space. Common flesh is unwilling. And my processors roast in this gravity. The sea air’d glue me to the shell.”

“Call me when you can,” she told him as they closed the hatch to the shuttle set for deep space.

Inside, the techs slipped him into a slot, watched as his file appeared on screen, mounted him into the communication and guidance system, then departed.

After take off, over the Com, he said. “I feel cool and calm and robust brothers and sisters. I fear losing nothing. I’m speeding through and can see the angels. Tell them to believe me: you won’t miss blood flow.”

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