A side-effect of being a robot (or more precisely, having a robotic heart) is that sometimes you aren't. And when these times pop up (usually unexpectedly) the rest of you isn't prepared. Going straight from the dark theater to the bright summer sun, your eyes tear up involuntarily and without warning.
Or driving a few hours away from home, catching a glimpse of a family laughing. Or a movie scene so manufactured that the emotional response is downright embarrassing. Right now I should really be sleeping. But I'm looking at photos and remembering stories:
When Barb and I saw this photo with Kitty's six month-old son we were both powerfully struck by how natural it seemed, even though neither of us was a "kid person" by any definition. I thought back to this image many times in the sometimes stressful months following.
For people like Barb who feel deeply it's like air, this feeling and connecting with other people, and the absence of it is like choking. You don't forget to breathe even if everything else is hectic in your life, otherwise you'll die.
It's not like that for me. Not better (in fact probably worse), just different. You have to remember to pay your bills, or to take out the trash, or to get the furnace checked. I have to remember to tell people I love them, or to call and see how they're doing, or to express interest in their family. And I forget way too often.
This is one of the many reasons I married Barb, different in many ways. Left to my own devices I would be a hermit, turning inward and never finding anything but cold metal.