Artificial Friend Quotes in Klara and the Sun
When we were new, Rosa and I were mid-store, on the magazines table side, and could see through more than half of the window. So we were able to watch the outside—the office workers hurrying by, the taxis, the runners, the tourists, Beggar Man and his dog, the lower part of the RPO building.
“Klara, you’re quite remarkable,” Manager said, keeping her voice soft so as not to disturb Rosa and the others. “You notice and absorb so much.” She shook her head as though in wonder. Then she said: “What you must understand is that we’re a very special store. There are many children out there who would love to be able to choose you, choose Rosa, any one of you here. But it’s not possible for them. You’re beyond their reach. That’s why they come to the window, to dream about having you. But then they get sad.”
“Well, Klara. Since you appear to know so much about it. Will you please reproduce for me Josie’s walk? Will you do that for me? Right now? My daughter’s walk?”
The kitchen was especially difficult to navigate because so many of its elements would change their relationships to one another moment by moment. I now appreciated how in the store—surely out of consideration for us—Manager had carefully kept all the items, even smaller ones like the bracelets or the silver earrings box, in their correct places.
She had by now both hands on Rick’s left shoulder, resting her weight there as if trying to make him less tall and the two of them the same height. But Rick seemed not to mind her nearness—in fact he seemed to think it normal—and the idea occurred to me that perhaps, in his own way, this boy was as important to Josie as was the Mother; and that his aims and mine might in some ways be almost parallel, and that I should observe him carefully to understand how he belonged within the strange pattern of Josie’s life.
“Please make Josie better. Just as you did Beggar Man.”
“Don’t want to die, Mom. I don’t want that.”
“It’s okay. Okay.” The Mother’s voice was soft, at just the same level mine had been.
“I don’t want that, Mom.”
“I know. I know. It’s okay.”
I turned the corner of the L and saw Josie there, suspended in the air. She wasn’t very high—her feet were at the height of my shoulders—but because she was leaning forward, arms outstretched, fingers spread, she seemed to be frozen in the act of falling. Little beams illuminated her from various angles, forbidding her any refuge. Her face was very like that of the real Josie, but because there was at the eyes no kind smile, the upward curve of her lips gave her an expression I’d never seen before. The face looked disappointed and afraid.
“You know, Klara. I don’t even know what this is about. But I want what’s best for Josie. Exactly the same as you. So I’m willing to grasp at any chance that comes our way.”
I turned to him with a smile and nodded. “Yes,” I said. “Then let’s try.”
“Klara deserves better. She deserves her slow fade.”
Around the same time, a kind yardman stopped in front of me and told me there were three AFs on the South Side, and two in the Ring. If I wished, he said, he could transport me to one or the other of these areas. But I told him I was content with my special spot, and he nodded and went on his way.
When she was mid-distance, she stopped and turned, and I thought she might look back one last time at me. But she was gazing at the far distance, in the direction of the construction crane on the horizon. Then she continued to walk away.