“My name is Sandra Imbricht. I am 25 years old and so far I thought, I was normal, halfway at least. I studied philosophy and journalism, did a good job in a museum, but now, now I am sitting here and facing a doll to replace a man. Would not I doubt a little about myself?”, I asked myself, as the boy, who was delivered to me, sat opposite me on the couch. The nice gentlemen had taken it out of the packaging and placed it on the couch, put the instructions for use on the living room table. An unpleasant feeling came upon me. I caught myself wondering how he was, this man, who was sitting on my couch, his eyes closed, his hands on his knees. He looked calm and amicable, as if he were taking a nap. He looked really deceptively true. I could not restrain myself, and carefully touched his hand, as carefully as if I were afraid to be bitten, and the skin that stretched him felt so real, so real that I had to remind myself, almost reminding that it was nothing but a doll, a really grandiose, but just a doll, and that what I was doing here was nothing more than a job. So I took up space again, and I tried to dispel the unpleasant feeling by means of professionalism and concentration which made me feel worse than right.
“So, my dear …” I began to say to myself, as I realized I did not know what he was called, my new roommate. But maybe the instructions for use could tell me about it. I opened them, and began to read:
Dear Miss Imbricht!
We are glad that you are ready to test your boy for us. We will guide you step by step with this user manual. We have tried to make it as simple and compact as possible. It serves a first learning as well as a later reference. On each side you will have enough space for personal remarks. I hope you make ample use of it because your comments, your suggestions and your criticism help us to improve the boy steadily.
We wish you much pleasure,
Dana Landweg & Mara Feringer
Your boy is working with electricity. He is equipped with portable batteries with an overall transmission time of 24 hours. For further full charging, connect the boy to the power supply with the power outlet. You must expect a charging time of approximately six hours. The plug can be found behind the right ear. In order to enable you to start up immediately, we have already preloaded it, so you do not have to wait another six hours, but can immediately configure it for you. This configuration will take about 20 minutes. The coin insert is located next to the plug behind the right ear. You can decide for yourself how many coins you throw. He works for 10 minutes per unit. Then you can either deposit another coin or not, depending on your personal requirements. In principle, you can carry your boy anywhere, can wash and go out with him.
First step: The naming
This boy is more personal to her. Therefore, the first configuration is also of such crucial importance. This cannot be undone. He will be completely prepared for you and is therefore uninteresting for any other customer. Please consider this and deal with him carefully, because even if he is only a doll, he is nevertheless a valuable, electronic device. If something happens here, nothing else can be done but to evade him. Consider this when you give him a name.
When you have found the appropriate name, you should throw in the first coin and face him. He will open his eyes and smile at you. Then hold intense eye contact and mention his name, loud and clear. Within a few seconds, he will have saved the name. Wait for it to be repeated. Then you can be sure that he knows it.
So I took the coin out of the coin box and threw it into the coin slot, and sat down in front of him. Actually, shortly afterwards, he opened his eyes and smiled at me.
“Barnabas,” I said loudly and audibly, and a few seconds later he was repeated from the mouth of my boy. I let this one, first word, resound from his mouth. Gentle and strong, warm, and engaging was that voice, and I replied his smile as I lost myself in his green eyes.