There’s something calming about space. I don’t know what it is, but it works on my friend with the magic blue box. He’s been watching Earth for freakin’ ages* now. I guess he finally got sick of Open Space.
I made a new friend recently. An old man, sat in the corner of a convenience store. Dressed in a suit, with eyes like faded coals, skin stretched over his bones, clinging to the form that drove his rivals away with sharp edges and defiant hunger. He called me over, without saying a word. It reminded me of Franc, so I replied.
He asked if I had a light. I guess, at some stage or another, everyone does. I’m always losing mine. He told me not to worry. A light appeared, and with it the faded accusation of a cheap cigarette.
I sat and listened to the old man, for a while. He told me of when Mars was “the ruby, the jewel in humanity’s galactic empire, the inspiration behind a thousand dreams and the heaven of a separatist elite”.
People like him pooled everything into seizing it for the “elite”. Wars were waged and won, countless sums of wealth and influence exchanged, until eventually they “had it”. Open Space would be “the heaven of their design”. Basically a holiday park for rich kids.
He didn’t say much, following that. I guess he forgot the rest of it. I don’t know what he was doing there, or why he was alone, but he didn’t seem to mind. Occasionally, I got the sense that he was grateful for the company, but then I’ve had that with cats too**. It was nice, though, to meet someone who wasn’t smiling.
I was going to tell Homeless Helper all this, but he’s giving me another Look. I think it’s to do with the junk I picked up on the way over.
Maybe he can hold onto it for me, until I find a bin…
*As it has often been stated, Womble has a bizarre relationship with time. “Freakin’ ages” generally equates to about three hours on Earth, “for a while” is around an hour, and “bloody ages” is around twelve. Other periods of time can be measured by counting how long it takes for Womble to repeat the phrase- if he says “bloody ages” twice within twenty four hours, he will immediately start looking for a Sasquatch Pill.
**Which is why, after an hour, Womble left. Whilst nothing ever actually suggested it, he did not apparently want to know if the old man would suddenly bite him.