by Brodie H. Brockie

I don't know why I did it, but the day you dumped me, I rented 2001. Maybe it was fate that made me reach for that particular tape; maybe it was my own subconscious. Whatever the reason, when I watched the film that night, I saw what it was really about for the first time.

It wasn't about space, it wasn't about the evolution of man, and it wasn't about the danger of an over-mechanized society.

It was about us; it was the story of our love.

The opening sequence, with the apes, was the first night we made love. There I was: a lumbering, hairy beast; and there you were: sleek, firm, and darkly beautiful. I reached for you slowly, fearful, shaking, but utterly compelled and unable to resist.

And when we touched, everything changed.

Things seemed to move so quickly after that night, as if we jumped from prehistoric times right into the space age with just one cut. Everything seemed elegant and shiny and exciting. We were so happy, and it seemed like we would go on forever, just like space, together for infinity.

Then, almost without realizing it, we slipped into routine. There was a long period of unacknowledged coldness between us. And like Dave in his cryogenic chamber, I slept most nights alone.

When I awoke from my stupor, I found you had changed. Or maybe you had always been like this, and I had just never noticed. You had become H.A.L., cold, calculating, and trying to control me. Sure, you pretended to have my own best interests at heart, and maybe you did, but a man needs to make his own decisions. A man needs to be self-reliant.

And I told you so. Maybe that's when it really ended. Maybe I was the one to pull the plug. I don't know.

You asked me to marry you, to at least give you my answer true. You told me you were half crazy, all for the love of me.

After that, we mostly just argued. Things seemed to move quickly again, as if in a blur. I felt like I was watching my own life go by in a blur of color. When you finally left me, I felt old and enfeebled, and the next moment I felt utterly childish.

The last thing you said was, "We can still be friends." And like the end of 2001, I didn't understand that at all.

I don't know why this always happens to me, but every time I look back at one of my relationships, it looks just like a Stanley Kubrick film.

I guess I need a change. I've found a small, quiet town to go live in and re-group. Haven't found a permanent place there yet, but for now I'll be renting a room in the house of a single mother. Don't worry, I'm not jumping into another relationship already. I don't find this woman attractive at all (odd really, since her daughter is so stunning).

Don't worry about me. I'll be fine.