Author : Thomas Desrochers

Whether or not something is difficult is largely a thing of perception. If you practice doing most things a lot, then they become easier. Driving, hunting, farming – they all becoming easier with practice.

Living alone does not.

For three thousand six hundred forty nine days I have lived my life alone. No conversation with anyone who can reply, no hand shakes, no hugs, no smiles.

They can’t talk, you see. Everybody else has just sort of forgotten. ‘its 2 slw’ they tell me, the ones that bother to communicate with someone like me, that is. I used to try and remember who they were so that maybe I would have somebody, anybody to talk to. The only problem was, I couldn’t recognize anybody when they all wear the same mask and the same suit.

Every day alone is hard.

It took me five years before I decided I might want to try it out, that I might want to be able to communicate with other people. They told me ‘u r not cmpatble w/ the tchnlgy, u r prone 2 szres,’ so I had to do without.

So I live alone. I live alone atop my hill. Just me and my animals and my fields. I raise my own food, haven’t seen a dollar in years. I am not compatible with the stores.

They stay in the city these days, down there in that bustling town. No time for driving any more, better stay close. All the houses in the hills are dark and empty, the roads are unused and falling apart. But with the people gone the animals have come back, which is good for me. They’re just more dinner.

I watch them down there, some nights. They light up the whole valley with their lights – one massive glowing Nirvana, automated, self-run. It seems to me that the people are rather inconsequential.

It all started so innocently. A way to communicate silently, quickly. No need to get dragged into conversations or unduly bother those around you, it was a way to keep things private. Then it was an obsession, and then an addiction.

I used to practice speaking every day. I would read aloud from one of my books for a few minutes, just so I would remember how. I stopped five years ago. What is the point?

Whoever invented texting must have been real smart. I wonder if he was a nice guy? I wonder if he knew he would be a thief?

He stole my voice. He stole my language. He stole my love. He stole my life.

It’s hard to live alone.

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows