I stood and sucked in the silence for a while. I felt free. I don't want you to think I'm anti-social. I'm not really but I think most people don't really understand me. I know everybody says that but... people really DON'T understand me! I'm 20 and I've never had a girlfriend. "Oh, you must be gay, then." Has it struck them that I've never had a boyfriend either? I don't have those sorts of feelings for other people.
People are always trying to get me to make friends. I'm happy to be civil to people. I think I'm a very polite person but why would you want somebody in your house? Your house is where YOU live, not them! Why would you want to see where they live? What's the point? No, if I'm doing a course with someone, I'll chat about that course; if I'm doing a job with someone I'll chat to them about that job. If their lunch hour co-incides with mine, fair enough - we can eat sitting next to each other and talk... for a bit. I don't like it when other people keep talking, though, and you can't enjoy your food. And why (and here's the million-credit question!) why do people go to establishments where they can get drunk together? Let's workshop that brilliant idea, shall we? 1) You'll end up with a lot less money than you had at the start of the evening; 2) you'll end up throwing up; 3) you'll end up embarrassed at all the terrible things you've done and said; 4) think of all the great things you could have done with the time you've just wasted; 6) you are now mentally and physically less well (and probably closer to death) than when you started. If people want to waste their lives like that, I'll not stop them - I'm a big believer in the freedom of the individual (unlike everybody else who claims to be); I just choose to exercise my freedom by not doing wasting my time like that. Ditto drugs. Ditto smoking.
And why the obsession with going to new worlds all the time? I used to be like that until I came to this world. I love the walks here; I love the vibrant colours; I love the beaches, the mountains, the flora and the fauna - the whole thing. Utterly brilliant. And when we came here five years ago we built some tremendous things. So should we leave them all behind and set off yet again? People get bored too easily. I don't (unless someone's come to my house to tell me what the weather's like, as if I couldn't see, or they're trying to chat me up or they're getting drunk round me or something dreary like that).
I suppose another reason that I don't need to be around other people is that I'm in love with myself. There are all sorts of great reasons for this state of affairs. Firstly I bet you've never seen anyone as gorgeous as me. I certainly haven't. I've got these amazing brown eyebrows and the most delicious blond hair you've ever seen. My lovely creamy little nose makes a cheeky accompaniment to my glorious big wide blue eyes. And my smile - oh! It's to die for! My cheeks don't need to be shaved very often because I've just got such smooth skin. A lot of people fancy me and they act like it's such a compliment. Well, duh - of course you fancy me! Tell me something I don't know! Everybody fancies me. I certainly do. But I always let people know that I don't want to be with them in the gentlest way. You see what I mean - always polite; always (outwardly!) sensitive to the feelings of others. That's another of the things I love so much about myself. And I'm so unbelievably clever as well. That's the trouble: no-one else is really on my level. For instance can you, dear reader, recite over 50 different indispensable Astronomy-related equations? I know I certainly can. Do you know exactly how quickly your planet is spinning to the nearest significant figure? Can you tell me exactly how far the nearest star is to each of the known inhabited worlds? I can. That includes this one. The answer in the case of this planet is: it's just perfect!
(That was a joke, by the way - the actual answer is 160 million km - only slightly further than the distance from Sol to the Earth. My ability to tell the best jokes is another thing I love about myself.)
I suppose the perfection of this amazing world is what draws me to it. I think it's like me - it looks at anything substandard and says, "What have you got?" but in a terribly polite way.
I love to read. I even have some of those old-fashioned things they used to have on Earth centuries ago called "books". I don't suppose you've ever seen a book? It's a collection of pulped wood with words actually physically imprinted on each thin pulped sheet. The words are stuck onto it with a kind of paint called "ink". They were ingenious, our ancestors - so much cleverer than us in so many ways. A lot of what they wrote is utter drivel, of course, but some of it is quite perceptive.
I know that others will come to this world but it'll take at least two years for them to get here.
I'm enjoying the silence. I went to the West Central Palace, which was always my favourite, and took the whole darn thing over. It was beautifully built. Carving two of its walls out of the tall green cliffs was a stroke of genius. Making the other two the same colour was brilliant, too. It's so tall and imposing. I am now the King of the World, just as I always should have been but, like most Kings, I don't have to bother with all those annoying subjects coming up and bothering me.
In the mornings I wake up, read whatever book I'm on (remember what those are?) and then go to the bathroom. I look into the mirror for a while (mirrors are such great inventions) and kiss my mirror image. I wish I really could feel what my face feels like to other people. I only feel cold glass when I do that. I spend a while in the bathroom. There are so many things to do in there.
Then I eat breakfast. There are so many wild plants on this planet. I gather different ones every day and cook them and eat them for breakfast, making meticulous notes on each one for future reference.
Then I go out and face the day - there's always so much to do on this glorious planet. There are hardly enough hours in each day to do them in.
You might say this is an empty world. It isn't an empty world, not really. In its own quirky way it's a very full world. You see it's got me living in it.
And what more could you ask for?