The robot didn’t know where he was, only that he was falling.
He was falling and he couldn’t stop it. Darkness whizzed past him. Darkness everywhere, even underneath him. He didn’t understand why he was falling or why he felt like he was falling, only that he was, and he couldn’t do anything to stop it.
It was bright again and he could see.
See in front of him, see behind him, see before him.
He was unscathed.
“What is this place?” he wondered aloud. His eyes whirred.
He remembered the Scientist, Dr. Scabborth, he made him. He made a robot and the robot could not remember his own name.
He saw something shiny on the ground. He picked it up and put it in his pocket. Next to the shiny thing, were three letters written on the sidewalk: MME. That must be my name, he told himself.
He decided to go into the building. It was a very old building and a sign was on it, it said: Dr. Jean Crawford. He opened the door and went inside. A light breeze followed him in. It was spring and it was nice and the sun shone like a giant diamond in the great, wide, open space.
A man seated behind the desk. He had a broad, sloping forehead like the valley; his hair was red as wine, and like the river. The river was cold, and spring was cold also.
“You think you’re a wizard, correct?” the old doctor asked. His face was hardened with lines, and his eyes were velvet. He wrinkled his forehead. His eyes were piercing blue. He had a mustache.
“I think so,” he said, his forehead wrinkled even further.
“You think so? Or, you know so?”
“I think so,” he insisted firmly, “and I know so.” He shook his head. His eyes were frightened; he didn’t know why he had come to this place, of all things. He remembered wanting to run, wanting to get away, far away from everything. He wanted to just go.
“I am a wizard.”
“You think you are a wizard.”
“What kind of wizard do you think you are?” he asked. He leaned forward in his seat. He tapped his fingers on the desk.
“I think I am…a good wizard.” He smiled. His eyes smiled in his face; everything about him smiled. He didn’t understand what was going on, only he was talking to a nice man at a desk.
“What do you remember about your old life?” he queried.
The psychologist was a nice man. Some women said he was good-looking. Other women thought he was a chimp, a man of mean demeanor.
The wizard looked out the window as the last light fell into the room, and it grew very dark. The psychologist rose to his feet. At last, he said, “I think a storm’s coming.”
For many years, the psychologist grilled the wizard. He had become very interested in what he had to say. He became very interested in what the man did. He checked at the local hospital and there was no birthday for him. He called himself MME, and that was all. He insisted his parents named him MME. Their last name was Sidways, or something like that. He thought it was a very unusual last name for a man to have. He had seen more unusual last names, like, Colcitcher, Ashwake, Merlin. The names rolled off his tongue, as he went through them in his mind, one by one.
Everything about his story spoke of treason, and he was very disturbed.
“I think you ought to get your head checked,” the psychologist said one day. “I think you ought to get your head checked, and go away from me.” He smiled at the man, expecting him to comply. Instead, he closed his eyes and nodded off. The man, MME, had fallen asleep.
The psychologist could not rouse him for anything. He could literally hear the man’s heart ticking in his chest, and knew he was alive. He ate lunch. He made a few phone calls. At five, he shook his shoulder and could not wake him. His eyes were slightly open.
“Well,” he replied. “I don’t know how you get away with it, but I envy you.”
He smiled, tipped his hat, and left the office.
The door swung softly shut behind him. It hardly made any noise at all.
* * *