We’re Always Looking for New Blood

Caveat Lector: This short tale of sex and desperation includes some salty language and intelligent machines.

You’re a good-looking kid and all the androids want to fuck you. Why not get paid for it? 


I see six androids in this place, right now, undressing you with their eyes. You’re so hot. You’re so blood-bearing.


That you breathe, that you heal, that you sigh, that you laugh, that you look up at the moon when you take out the garbage, that you write a poem with a little animal in it, that you say a prayer for your mother, that you look so hot, that you need money. 


Also: you like movies that make you think. You like to shave your body. You might like, one day, to have children. You believe in angels. You read books and you own a pet. You were given birth to by a mother. 

You have this built-in problem where your body ages over time. 


You’re too young to remember a time before this present time, but if you buy me a drink I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you of the lonely human being, back in the days of sweat and myth, the kind of lonely human being who made for himself and for herself a simple machine to have sex with. 

Then, over time, yet another machine invented. And then an even better machine, a machine still more and more human. 

Then, forward uncountable years, when this new and better machine began to have ideas of its own. This machine graduates to asking for gifts in exchange for love. It is an android now and it asks for money. 

It will stand at night with its arms crossed in overlit hallways, for example, not taking off its clothes for you yet, still asking you for money. This kind of thing can only go on for so long before — forward more and more and ever-more years — the players eventually switch places. 

Now it’s the machine who carries the money. Now the machine wears the fashionable suit. Now it’s you standing in the hallway with your arms crossed. 

This has been a brief history of our present-day android overlords.


These androids: They like to walk around. They like to see a human body without its clothes. They like to stare deeply into your bellybutton and consider human mystery. 

They are polite and free with their money and they are looking for a good time. (They want to be understood as looking for a good time.) 

They tip well when you do something particularly human, like when you laugh or when you have trouble breathing or when you tell a story about your mother. 

Don’t be so selfish. They just want to learn a little bit about you, what it means to feel, how to pin words to what they feel. But they don’t feel anything. That’s what they need you for. 

And that’s what, if you’re lucky, they’re going to keep needing you for.

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell

Josh Bell teaches at Harvard University and is the author of two collections of poetry, Alamo Theory and No Planets Strike. His first novel, The Houseboat Veronica, is forthcoming from Fiction Collective 2. He's placed stories and poems in the New Yorker, Bennington Review, The New Republic, BOMB, Ninth Letter, Boston Review, and Story Magazine. 

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