It’s been a very odd and solitary month, you guys, one spent mostly closeted in my room in Manhattan for two weeks, then, punctuated by a brief interlude in the air, in a temporary service apartment in Singapore, under quarantine, and now, back home, shuffling between a makeshift study and a makeshift bed, living underwater in new york time as the rest of singapore continues on GMT+8.

It was with this sense of cotton mindedness that I came to the sign-in page of my blog today, thinking to myself that i must write something, but not knowing what. For some reason, a few websites refuse to keep me signed in, the new yorker, the new york times, the paris review, and my own website, this page, All websites i pay to access (or in this case, host) and all of which boot me out unceremoniously after the session ends, requiring me to sign in again, and again, and again..

Anyway. Every time I come to to sign in and write a post i need to verify my human status, tick the innocuous i am not a robot box, which i’ve never thought much about, but today i came to it and thought, what if instead of wallowing in this grumpy haze, this pandemic panic, i opened my mind up and sharpened my attention to every microscopic detail, saw each question posed as an opportunity for a prompt?

I am not, of course, saying that the same grey i am not a robot box is what inspired californian based writer Minyoung Lee. On the other hand, what a perfect balancing clause – i am not a robot, but make me one.

All of that to say that I read this wonderful short story today on Monkeybicycle, and now you can, too.

Make Me a Robot by Minyoung Lee