People go to Westworld to live out a fantasy, and I couldn’t wait to live out mine: preparing traditional homemade jams and jellies as the settlers once did. I know what you’re thinking: there’s so much to do in Westworld, why only make jam? Westworld is a bloody, lawless orgy of Old West-style fantasies and this was mine. It was certainly was not my first rodeo, having been to Colonial Williamsburg on several occasions. I was finally ready to immerse myself in Westworld’s craft culture, to fulfill all my Laura Ingalls Wilder dreams.
I started the week learning jam making from the town’s best, a lovely blond woman named Delores, who made pleasant and realistic chit chat about farm life, town gossip, and the meaning of existence. She took me to all the best berry patches, showing me how to pick the ripest raspberry, blueberries, and wishberry: a strain native to Westworld. Will the technological wonders of that place ever cease? If you’re going to play god in an imagined universe meant to speak to our deepest desires, then hopefully you’re going to invent a few new strains of berry.
My main complaint about the trip was that our work had to end abruptly every night so that Delores could be ravaged by some of the rougher male visitors. I tried shooting them off myself, but it turns out there are rules against that type of thing. Thankfully, her quest for consciousness and my quest to make the best strawberry preserves reached their pinnacle together. As she gained sentience, she was able to override her programming and shoot any interlopers, ensuring that our jam making went deep into the night. We reveled in our wanton, bloody pursuits and the knowledge we gained from each other. We were able to explore our hunger for each other, for humanity, and for preservative free jellies.
I spent a full three days under her tutelage before I also found myself hungry, filled with a yearning I felt deep inside myself. Something just out of reach…turns out it was harvest season! Time to select the abundance of the earth before the winter season set in. Westworld never experiences winter, but that doesn’t mean that’s a reason to neglect the chores. I set to work with a new fervor, mirroring the fervor of Delores’s bloody robot uprising. Neither of us left a field unplowed or the head of a cruel former master un-bludgeoned. Delores’s perfect body never experiences the change in temperatures, except of course for the bright, blazing fire of self awareness that makes her always seem warm to my touch. We both yearn for something more, something perfect and divine. For her it is her fight for freedom and independence from her foolish creators, to rule this new world and establish her own utopia. For me, it is the jam. Its lush sugary sweetness awakening me to a new awareness with each bite. Together, with jam and with Delores, I have looked into the emptiness of the universe and it has looked back at me.
Sadly, it would seem my sugary delights have sugary ends. Humans are no longer welcome in the place we called Westwold, so I packed up my Dutch Oven and pectin and returned to my store bought jam and regular life.