a robotic condom
Gerald lived with his parents and had very little sexual experience. One day he saw an internet advertisement for a new product from Japan: a robotic condom. In this device Gerald saw the potential for a new era of solo carnal pleasures, a welcome change from the funk he'd found himself in of late. Carefully, he ordered it while his parents went out for cocktails and arranged for it to be delivered to the address of an abandoned gas station.
One week later it arrived. Under cover of darkness and disguised as a box of school supplies, Gerald brought the Japanese robotic condom home and unwrapped it in his room. As soon as he opened the box, he was struck at once with the sadness in the eyes of the robotic condom. Gerald felt as if he could see into the very soul of the creature, and realized suddenly the oneness of all things.
Overwhelmed with regret, compassion, and bittersweet joy, Gerald released the robotic condom into the wild. Deep within his heart, Gerald hoped that the robotic condom would not be corrupted by the folly of men.
Within 48 hours, Gerald forgot that any of this had happened. He remembered it only once, nine years later, as he stared through the window of a deli.