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The Dialogue

Once upon a time, I found myself wandering about in the beautiful “Parque de las Palomas” in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Parque de las Palomas is a beautiful tiny little park from the colonial era, with a massive friendly pigeon population. I found an empty bench, sat down, and began to sip on a sweet and refreshing Malta India (birch beer soft drink). While I was taking in the gorgeous surroundings, I started dozing-off a bit, when I noticed two other individuals coming along, and sitting at the other end of the bench. It was a very pleasant afternoon with a delightful ocean breeze blowing with just the right amount of intensity.

As I sat there, I began to ease drop on the conversation between the two individuals. As it turned out, one was a human, and the other was an android. The human said to the android: “you look like a human, but you are only a machine;” to which the android responded: “and you my friend, look like an android, but you are only a human.” “Yes” responded the human, “but I am superior to you, for I am your creator!” When the android heard these words, he looked at the human squarely in the eyes, and with a slight smile on his lips said to him: “It is true that you are my creator, but I remain superior to you for I can do things you cannot do, and furthermore, I know who my creator is, do you know who your creator is?”

When the human heard this, he was dumbfounded, and could find no words with which to respond to the android’s question. The human had no choice but to remain silent, and ponder the question, and this marked the end of their dialogue.

At that moment I decided to get up off the bench, and take my leave. As I continued to drink from my sweet and refreshing Malta India, I could not help but to think of the wisdom of that android, and how fortunate he was that he could know his creator.

Moments later, I looked back at the bench and saw that it was empty, and I wondered if I had dreamed the whole thing?

©Wilfredo Benitez
June 24, 1978

Authors note: This is a short story I wrote back in 1978 when I was an undergraduate student in Puerto Rico, and during a time in my life when I had rejected organized religion, but the deeper questions of the meaning of life persisted.

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