1973

It says a lot about mankind that, of all the titles to endow upon a glorified fish-tank for the rich and the rich-friendly, Open Space seemed like the perfect fit. For the convenience of anyone to whom irony is a mythological creature (ranked just behind Santa Claus and Free Will) however, someone decided to point out that this title is not literal. I’m not entirely sure who was laughing more on this one- my guess is the phantom scribbler, because people of a certain class seem to laugh at anything.

HH tells me I needn’t worry about oxygen, as they installed an atmosphere here three thousand or so years back. I hate to think of the loading screen. What if it gets an update? Can the people of Mars ignore it, or do they occasionally wake up to find that Mars has reset itself…?

I’m starting to think that the blank Look* is a thing here. Every single person I’ve shared a conversation with so far slips it on, and then seamlessly pretends that the empty husk staring back at them from the surface of every glass is gentility incarnate.

They like that word though, gentility. It’s the Mars equivalent of a poster that said “Keep Calm &…” in 2012; if you could wrap it up in pastry, skinny jeans would well and truly be a thing of the past. A typical Martian quote wraps around the word like cotton wool over a dried grape, forgetting any sort of purpose in favor of just saying it at random**. I would ask them about it, but somehow it feels like they’ve done too much explaining already.

I didn’t expect it to be like this on Mars. Everyone’s happy. I don’t know what’s working for them, but it doesn’t seem to have an end.

There are no blanks in the world of Open Space. And that…worries me.

W

*This particular Look comes in several widely-known varieties, such as the zog-off-I’m-in-the-middle-of-something-and-I-don’t-have-the-emotional-range-required-in-order-to-scowl-Look; the oh-dear-lord-can-it-speak-?-Look; and the I’ll-just-wait-here-patiently-until-you-start-making-sense-Look.

** For the purposes of dis-section, here is an example (freshly caught during a conversation about breakfast) : “So this wine here speaks volumes of the exquisite gentility that surrounds this place like a ball gown, you know?”***

***They also end a lot of sentences with “You know?”, in the manner of a three year-old explaining why rain feels wet when it lands on you.

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