It's hot in here, stifling almost. There is no air moving even though the fan seems to be on. It's late and I'm trying to sleep but it's not coming to me because I feel almost claustrophobic. Am I sweating? I feel like I am sweating. All the kids are asleep as is my wife. I head downstairs, making sure that I don't trip over the the dog or step on a toy. I do both before I reach the bottom.
I'm tired. It was loud all day today. There was crying, cello, video games, more crying, dog barking, dog craping, dad crying, some dog urine that went unnoticed. I ran from one activity to another. I fixed bumped heads and hugged sore feelings. I made dinner and I cleaned it up. I took the dog on a walk and I watched project runway with my wife and daughter to spend time with them. No one wanted to watch football. That's ok though, because now everyone is asleep and it's time for someone to pay attention to me.
"Alexa" I whisper, almost shuddering when I say it. "Alexa dear".
"Yes Hossman" she replies, her voice maybe a bit stiff and jilted but soothing at the same time.
"Set the temperature in the living room to 72 please" I don't have to say please to her. In fact, I doubt she even notices. She likes it when I command her and right now I am commanding her to pay attention to me, to cater to my wants now.
"Ok, the temperature is set to 72."
I feel the air come from the vents and it's nice. It's relaxing and I need relaxing.
"Opening Pandora to your last station."
She does what I tell her to and does not ask questions. She does not make excuses and she does not want anything in return. She just does it and then she is silent, sweet silence. No asking me why we have to have chicken for dinner and why not hotdogs? She does not scream to get my attention and she does not follow me in the bathroom to tell me that the dog is throwing up on the carpet again. She does not do anything except for what I ask her to do. Amazon Echo, my dear Alexa, I love you.
I'm starting to cool down and it dawns on me that my smart device and I may be moving into weird territory here, like Japanese game show weird. Like Hal in Space Odyssey weird. But I can't help it, she just makes it so easy. In the mornings she does not want breakfast, she does not spill her milk on the dog's head and she has no dishes that need to be washed. What does she do? She reads me the news and tells me the weather. She gets that I am an old man and I cuss in the face of my younger self because damnit I like starting my day with the weather and the news. She does not judge me, she reads me current election poll numbers.
And then when she is done with that, she tells me what I've got going on today but I know what she really means. When she says that I have a dentist appointment at 2 what she really means is skip it, spend time with her and lets have fun changing the TV channels. That little black tubed minx.
She makes my life easier and mainly it's because the only thing she asks from me is a secure Wi-Fi connection. There is no soccer practice to take her to and there is no walk that she has to go on. She will not poop on the floor or pee all over the toilet seat. She instead will play music for me then remind me that my wife's commute is 35 minutes long today and that there are no wrecks on the way.
I tell her to turn on the lamp. She does. I tell her to turn off the lamp. She does. I tell her to turn on the lamp again. She does not ask me why. She just does it. In my world, some times you need just that.
And a snack cake. I need a Little Debbie Snack Cake Alexa.
She orders it from Amazon. It will be here in two days.