Author: Evan MacKay
I loved a man. I can’t say much more than that. What does it mean to love? A parent loves their child unconditionally. A spouse love’s with nature’s own fierce determination. A friend loves in a way which sometimes makes no sense.
I was neither parent nor spouse to Rory, though when we were together an argument could be made that I filled the role of both. I was certainly his friend once upon a time.
I’m not sure where it all went wrong. I imagine it was about the time his daughter ran off with that boy from up north. Rory never could forgive her for it.
Some men turn to drinking when they’re depressed. Others look for solace in the bliss of drugs. I once knew a woman who took her depression out on a painter’s canvas–she even made some money out of it, which is the best way to do it in my opinion.
Rory, he turned to implants. Not the fancy implants like soldiers get, or the suave looks of billionaires–Rory had driven trucks most of his life and didn’t have the kind of money to afford those. But there were other ways to get implants. Shady med school dropouts who operated out of garages and abandoned warehouses. Chop shops for people are what I call them. Rory found him one of those guys and went to see him. First it was small things. A mechanical eye, or a bionic hand. I say small because those are about as small as you can get when you’re implanting. But soon it became more extreme. I remember when he had the left side of his face replaced with a metal plate. Then he started losing his organs. I’m sure Mr. Chopshop made some good money off of those.
I mention love because it’s a funny thing. You see, when Rory first started turning bionic I was happy for him. Sure it wasn’t what I would have done but it seemed to make him happy. If you’d have seen how he was after his daughter left you’d have cried for joy too when he smiled after getting his brand new eye. I encouraged him to go back to the man, to sink more of his life savings into more mechanical augmentations because I wanted to see him happy. When Rory wasn’t sure if he should do more, I made him sure. When he wanted my opinion I told him what he wanted to hear. Rory was happy.
Love is selfish. I realize that now. Once a week on Wednesdays, when I get off work early, I go and sit with Rory. There’s not much of what he was born with left. I think part of his brain is still in his metal skull–not that it’s doing him much good. You see, somewhere along the way of turning himself robotic, one of the procedures went south. I don’t know if Rory understands what I say when I speak. I hope he doesn’t notice when I cry.
I loved a man, and now he’s gone.