Tonight Avery asks, 'Are we new?'
I say, 'You're pretty new.'
'No,' he says. 'Are we new.'
I say, 'There's been nobody like us before.'
Avery says, 'Robots are people and people are robots.'
I talk to my dad on the phone. He has gone from the hospital into aged care. He says, 'when I went into the hospital I thought my time was up.' He says, 'I still think it might be actually. I can't get out of bed, or move around like other people. I'm stuck here.' I ask him to hang around till Una and I come visit. He says my brother's already told him to hang around a bit longer than that. My sister is coming from England next week. There's so much to hang around for in that strange halfway place that's like living and dying all at once. I say, 'But if you need to go, go.'
On the day we get our 5 month old schnauzer, Swoosie, desexed I let Una, 9, stay home from school because it's Fred's last day on school camp. On the way to pick Swoosie up, she says what if Swoosie was already pregnant? I tell her about the cat we used to have, Janeway, who we had desexed when she was pregnant. 'They just take it all out. But they're not really kittens. Just embryos, just clumps of cells.' We talk about abortions and how sometimes women can end pregnancies if they're young, or don't want the baby. Una asks if women can get desexed. I tell her usually it's the man who gets the operation, because it's easier for them. We talk about whether a dog and a cat can have babies. No, but I tell her a donkey and a horse can. We wonder if a cat and a tiger could. She asks if two women or two men can...you know. I say, 'they can't make a baby together.' She says, 'I know. But can they have sex?' Yes, I tell her. She says, 'I wouldn't mind being a lesbian, but I think the hard part about it would be finding other people who want to be lesbians too.'