When I first came to Westworld, I had big dreams.
I wanted to live like a real cowboy, except with on-demand laundry and access to hair gel. I wanted to shoot a robot with a revolver and tie his body to a cactus. I wanted to walk into an old-timey saloon and listen to a pianist cycle through the hits of Soundgarden.
In short, I wanted to experience the original American dream: to head west, with a humble $40K daily budget, and ride around on a robot horse firing my crossbow at unsuspecting locals.
But now, after two years—and 78 bank heists, 153 body-paint orgies, and 489 games of poker that ended with me murdering the dealer—I’m finally leaving Westworld.
My life in Westworld has been fun, and horny, but it’s time to move on.
I can still remember where I was when I knew I had to come to Westworld.
I was sitting in front of my computer monitor at the DMV, switching browser tabs between hardcore pornography and Oregon Trail ‘92, when I wondered: Is there a way to experience these two situations simultaneously, in real life, and with children around for some reason?
I bought a three-day pass on Groupon and opened a $50 million line of credit at Wells Fargo. Four days later, I was in Westworld.
At first, everything was just as I had hoped. The streets crackled with the energy of the ultra-rich preparing to decapitate a blacksmith. The horses didn’t poop, because the technology behind artificial horse feces just wasn’t there yet. The temperature was always set to “Arizona—but in November.”
Life here was a dream—and not a dream where Jeffrey Wright tries to confuse you with riddles. A good dream.
But all good dreams must come to an end.
At some point during your time in Westworld, you’ll wake up under a card table, surrounded by prostitutes wearing Dia de Los Muertos face paint, with a Bowie knife in one hand, and the silicon scalp of a robotic cardsharp you don’t even remember scalping in the other, and you’ll know: It’s time for me to leave this place.
Westworld has a way of wearing you down. You begin to see the grimy underside of the all-inclusive murder theme park/robo-brothel.
And honestly, there is so much that Westworld just isn’t giving me. I want a lover who understands my references to Battlestar Galactica; I miss meme culture; I want friends who aren’t constantly whispering tips about a buried treasure chest just over yonder ridge.
I miss experiencing the Four Seasons (hotel in New York); I miss Snow (the Canadian rapper).
To be sure, I will be bringing back some incredible memories from Westworld: the time I taught pickup basketball to those ex-Confederate soldiers; the time I got into a gun battle with a vacationing Jeremy Piven and his manservants; the time I captivated listeners around the campfire with a grand yarn that was just the plot of the movie Patch Adams.
But now it is time for me to ride off into the fake sunset, on my robot horse, with “Like a Stone” by Audioslave pounding on the player piano behind me.
Goodbye, Westworld. I’ll be leaving you with fond memories, rage issues, $50 million in credit card debt, and a lingering doubt about whether I am actually a humanoid living out the algorithm written by a suave British alcoholic.
And in the end: Isn’t that what life is all about?