A simple, quiet, “tong,” wakes me up and I see Sally sitting at a wooden table in front of me with the pine trees covered in a light mist behind her. She has a bowl of something breakfasty in front of her and she’s taking a sip of coffee while she waits for me to completely wake up.
“Hey, Sal,” I rub my eyes and look myself over to see if I’m presentable. I stretch as the sofa releases me from its hold. “Follow me to the kitchen table,” I instruct Sally’s hologram and she follows me still sitting at her table in her apartment and lines her table up with mine so we can have our breakfasts together.
“Coffee,” I say to the kitchen and a gurgle starts inside my food dispenser. “What time is it?” I ask and as Sally answers, “morning” the computer says, “ten-forty-five”. I bring my coffee cup to the table and inform the computer, “I’m talking to Sally,” without this instruction it would answer every question that might come up in our conversation (computers aren’t half as bright as people think).
“Got any plans?” Sally asks with her cup held up to her lips with both hands so I can just see her eyes above the rim.
“Going to sleep till noon,” I give her a sleepy grin, “that’s shot.”
“I could go,” she knows I’d rather talk to her.
“Stay, I got plenty of sleep. What are you eating?”
“Computer, a bowl of oatmeal,” I wait to hear the sounds of a bowl of oatmeal being produced and hear nothing. “Computer! A bowl of oatmeal please!”
“You talking to me?” the computer asks politely.
“You know I am, a bowl of oatmeal please,” the sounds of my oatmeal being put together can be heard inside the processor.
“I thought you were talking to Sally,” the computer explains. The computer lies.
“I think some software problems have developed in my home computer,” I tell Sally, the computer produces a big stage sigh but chooses not to say anything.
“I was thinking a walk in the park, maybe feed the ducks?” I set my oatmeal down at the real end of the table and stir in the sugar that was sprinkled on the top. I take a small test first bite, making sure the computer didn’t do anything to get even. The oatmeal seems fine.
“I was thinking, watch the game and snack,” Sally has a thing for the out-of-doors, which is kind of weird for a pilot.