I climbed into the sleeping pod, and vacuum-packed bedding tumbled from a slot in the wall. The pillow was comfortable and the duvet warm; I wriggled a little to find the perfect position. There was a gentle click, and the pod slowly started to retract into the sidewalk. I looked up at Clippy in alarm, “Ssshhh, relax. I’ll be waiting up here for you. The pod will return to the surface when you are ready to process more data.”

I found darkness, silence, and heavy eyelids as the pavement thud shut. I wondered, did Clippy just ssshhh me like an infant? But I also felt a little guilty; it didn’t seem right, leaving Clippy on the street waiting like a puppy. Was this one of those simultaneous contradictions she mentioned earlier? What wins? Guilt? My eyes slipped closed.

A packet of single use bedding being dispensed from a Japanese vending machine, framed like a Neill Blomkamp film


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