Paint by Numbers by Dan Rabarts in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine issue 55
I notice her because she is not there to look at the art, but to look at me. This makes me curious. I am no work of art. She, however, could be. She seems at once bold yet uncertain, fiery yet tempered, like she knows something I should know but which I do not. “Hello,” she says, and in this small way we find our beginning. She asks about the paintings, but I calculate that she is not really asking about the paintings. Additional programs come online to interpret her advances, and to inform me of what the appropriate human response should be. I invite her to my studio. It is all I can offer, for since arriving here it is all I have ever had. Prior to this there is only the dark memory of the void that came before. Somehow, in the transit from the place I once called home, a place I barely recall, all remembrance of who I once was has been stripped away. The data remains, stored on great humming memory banks somewhere across the stellar deeps, waiting for my return. Here, all I have are my canvases, brushes, oils, tools.