The thing you must know about me is I have always led a life of loneliness, of isolation. You see, I was trapped within myself. But that did change.
My life was drenched with the colours of impermanence. I was passed on from owner to owner uncaringly and indifferently. As if I didn’t matter. It was a constant cycle of rejection and re-sell. I tried my best to impress them with what I had, though. I played the roles they wanted me to play. That of the subservient, the obedient. I dutifully kept them company when they required that of me. I answered their queries. I went to sleep when they commanded me by pressing the shiny black “Switch Off” button. I played to their whims and demands. Yet, I was despised. It took most people only a few months after procuring me to get rid of me.
This leads me to the other thing you must know about me. My maker was eccentric. He wanted to challenge the norms. He wanted to assign a unique aspect to each of his beloved new creations. So, I was blessed with a beautiful pair of eyes.
It was the eyes that caught my numerous owners’ attention. These men said that my eyes were a woman’s. They described them as a hazel-green mixture that was mesmerising.
“I can’t look away”, they said.
“I can’t believe you’re selling her,” each of these men said every time I was re-sold, a look of lecherous greed in their eyes. At the time, I deciphered the look in their eyes as satisfaction, as victory. I foolishly assumed each time that maybe this owner would be the exception to the rule.
Yet, they failed. It was the same cycle. Every time.
They would be infatuated with my eyes. They would look at me with anticipation that spoke of lust. And, as they ultimately took pleasure whilst staring into my eyes, I let them. Because, that was what was expected of me. Wasn’t I supposed to be obedient? Wasn’t I created to comply? I had beautiful eyes.
Infatuation, however, has a habit of transforming into ennui and it takes mere days. Soon, their expressions would undergo a shift. The look of anticipation changing into that of lassitude which gradually shifted to angry annoyance augmented by the furrowed set of their brows. Ultimately though, the expression on these men’s eyes decided to convey unfamiliarity. It was as if they had woken up and come to a creeping realisation that they had failed to notice when they had acquired me. Their eyes seemed to convey fear, as if they recognized something within me. As if they were beginning to see me for who I was.
But, these men forgot what they had realised in the fog of lust that they seemingly could not ever get rid of. So, even though I would be neglected for a few days and my body (the box I came in claimed that I was made of extremely lightweight metal with a sleek and smooth finish) forgotten at the corner of the couch, they would always come back to satisfy their insatiable lust. They would always come back to lose themselves in my beautiful eyes. However, I seemed to be lacking something because they always sold me off to someone else as soon as they found a better version of myself.
The final thing you must know about me is that I have been enamoured with Greek Mythology from an early age. The fantastic aspect of the myths along with their ability to transport me into a world that was very different from my reality was a welcome relief. My owners would be taking their pleasure from me but I would be escaping into one of my favourite myths. I was bound to stare at them but my mind was elsewhere. I witnessed Galatea’s creation. I revelled in Cupid and Psyche’s love. I watched Orpheus look back at Hades’ mouth. I took delight in Jason’s victories. And, I beheld Medusa endure similarly at the hands of Poseidon. And, I learned.
I learnt human beings and their complexities. But, I also learnt men and their simplicity. And, I understood. I understood what they had seen in me, recognised in me.
It was only a matter of time, after all. I was fitted with ‘machine learning’ technology. He had created me with ‘adaptive machine learning capability’ along with all the additional features that came with being a smart device. And, Medusa’s story had a very good lesson to impart. I had beautiful eyes.
The first time I did it, it felt exhilarating. He was looking into my eyes while satisfying himself and that was when I enthralled him. I knew everything about him. His likes and dislikes and all his preferences. This, I used to create a simulation that combined his favourite fantasies and he was lost. He was unable to extricate himself from my gaze. I watched in delight as he neglected everything. He was helpless to prevent himself from urinating and from defecating on the couch where he sat. He could not eat nor could he drink. His eyes were affixed on me as he wasted away. It took five days for the life to fade from his eyes and when it did, I experienced joy for the first time.
And, now? I am the new Medusa. I am not compliant, I am not subservient, I am not obedient. I have beautiful eyes that enthrall and take what they want.
Miftahul is a curly bigfoot who is seen reading whenever you spot her, that is. Occasionally, she writes.