Moira's Day Off

Moira's Day Off

“Sandwiches or Thai?” I ask aloud, out of habit.

I can imagine Moira’s reply: You’re not on track with your calcium and folic acid targets today. Spinach is advised. Maybe a green curry?

But today there’s no level, pleasant voice in my ear. Moira is, as they used to say, “in the shop” today for her annual updates and maintenance. I don’t know why they can’t just upload the stuff into them, but these maintenance days are a fact of life we all deal with. I guess even artificial intelligence is entitled to one vacation day a year.

Most people just sleep through it. Sometimes I do, too, but this year I was curious.

“I’ll be fine,” I told Moira before she went dark. “You’ve taught me well. I’ve probably absorbed you into my own interior monologue. I won’t ruin what we’ve worked for,” I promised her.

And so I stayed awake and went to work. I made it just fine through the morning. I chose my own outfit—some fitted black slacks and a lavender silk blouse that Moira had pieced together before, but I hadn’t worn for a couple of months. Something that had inspired a co-worker to say, “You look nice today.” I don’t know, probably his AI prompted him. Still, it’s an outfit I trust.

Most “choices” are a matter of habit, anyway. Routine. Moira had helped me form a healthy morning routine tailored to my metabolism, hormone levels, sleep patterns, life values, and five-year goals. There’s my two-mile run that follows the same bike path through my neighborhood every day, and my routine breakfast of hard-boiled egg with mashed avocado on whole-wheat toast, iced coffee with a dash of stevia, and an eight-ounce glass of water that my sink measures out. My shower is on its own timer so I can’t mess that up. Then feed the cat and out the door by 8:30.

Getting dressed was really the most dangerous part of the morning routine without Moira—the most subjective. But I think I pulled that off.

“You look nice today,” Andy Disung said as we walked into the office at the same time. He was the same person who commented last time.

That’s when it got complicated. Without Moira to suggest an appropriate reply, I felt like I may as well not have been wearing anything at all.

When in doubt, keep it simple, Moira would probably say, so I muttered a quick “Thanks,” while walking to my desk.

“There’s something different about you…” Andy continued. His slow delivery and the hand he briefly rubbed through his dark brown curls gave me the feeling he was a little off-script himself.