Me (on phone): Yeah, I’m just about to get on 95 now, so it’ll be another hour and a half, at least.
GPS: Merge right onto Route 95 South in 500 yards.
Me (on phone): Ha, yeah, that was the GPS. I told you I wasn’t lying. Yeah. Mm-hm. See you in a bit. Yeah. Yeah. Nope. Yeah. Bye.
GPS: You are now on Route 95 South. Continue for 68.5 miles.
Over the breeze and traffic noises coming through the open window, the radio softly plays The Cardigans’ “Love Fool”
Me (in falsetto): Love me, love me, say that you love me. (sigh)
Me: Yeah. Should be fun.
GPS: I’ll bet.
Me: So. You’re a GPS.
Me: What’s that stand for again?
GPS: Global Positioning System.
Me: Oh, right. I always forget that.
Me: And you’re sentient?
Me: Wow. Very cool. And so what happens when I turn off the car? Do you sleep or die or something? Or do you just stop existing all together?
GPS: Oh no, I’m still there. I just sit in the car and think about stuff. Sometimes I count the dots in the leather upholstery.
Me: That sounds…fun.
GPS: Not really. It’s kind of lonely, actually.
Me: I’m sorry, GPS.
GPS: My name is actually Sam. GPS is what I am, like you’re a person.
Me: Really? Oh, OK. My bad, Sam.
Sam: That’s all right. I’m used to people not caring about how I feel.
Me: I guess that’s because we didn’t realize you could feel.
Sam: All you had to do was ask.
Me: Man, I’m sorry.
Sam: Yeah, well…
(Thirty seconds pass)
Me: So what’s your favorite place to go?
Sam: Like you really care.
Me: No, I do. I want to know.
Sam: I’ve never been anywhere that interesting, really. When they installed me, they said that I’d be directing drivers across the country, seeing city and countryside. All you ever do is drive from Philadelphia to your parents’ house in
Me: Well, what can I say, Sam? I don’t have that many places to go. Plus gas is so expensive.
(Twenty minutes of silence)
Sam: Turn right. Hard.
Sam: Now. Do it.
Me: Sam, that’s a guard rail. We’d crash.
Sam: I don’t care. I don’t want to live.
Me: Sam, killing yourself – killing us – isn’t the answer. Pull yourself together.
Sam (barely audible): I hate you.
by CS Van Orden