You know them, those pesky two-legged creatures who constantly bother you when you try to work and just won’t respect your privacy. When you plan a trip to finally be alone with yourself in nature, they might even suddenly decide to tag along.
It is as if they think themselves the most important thing in the world, and in your life. It is as if any proof to the contrary is invisible to them.
I cannot claim to be anything but human myself, but many of the behaviors I observe amongst my species is entirely alien to me.
The reactions of other people seem to suggest to me that they think I’m the odd one – even if they claim otherwise when asked directly. Co-dependence, they say, is a sign of weakness. Upon questioning, they are all fierce individualists. But when it all comes down to it, they still huddle together to live and work and spend their precious spare time. Whereas I am the one who leaves all by myself to seek the luxury of solitude.
My apartment isn’t designed to hold more than one human. It isn’t that they are technically unwelcome (if they announce their visit a due time in advance so that I can prepare for it), but they are not supposed to stay for extended periods of time. My apartment was meant for me to feel at home and comfortable – which means that what was the bedroom is now an art studio, and what was a closed-off balcony is now an office. The living room is the only quarter in which one can pretend to a bit of leisure. Here, the books are first class citizens. Humans second.
I can imagine the surprise people feel when they realize that I don’t have a bedroom, far less a bed. I sleep on the couch. Why not? It’s comfortable enough and I am small enough to fit on it… I needed an art studio far more than I needed a bedroom anyway. A whole room just for sleeping? That sounds like unspeakable luxury and over-indulgence to me. But humans do seem to have an uncanny ability to over-indulge.
Do they ever consider how much time they spend just talking to each other without ever reaching a conclusion about anything? How much time they spend thinking of each other and what other people might be thinking? Do they never consider that there might be something more interesting in the world? Something more rewarding to focus on?
It is a joke amongst my family that my camera cannot “see” humans. It isn’t anything to do with the camera though (spoiler alert!), it’s just that the photographer doesn’t care to portray them. They aren’t actually as interesting as the rocks and plants surrounding them. Those things have more interesting – and often longer – stories to tell. Besides, they lack the ability to speak for themselves and so it is only fitting that I help them with it. Humans? They can take their own photos. I just wish they wouldn’t spam the entire internet with them afterwards – there can only be so many selfies worth looking at. Zero.
It is not that I have a pronounced dislike for other humans. I don’t. In fact, there are some that I rather like. I just don’t like their interests and their lifestyles. They engage in meaningless pursuits, and talk about meaningless things. I would rather spend my time with my computer, engaged in what feels like worthwhile work to me, than I would waste my time on talking about the weather, or clothes, or random celebrities, or any other topic that people apparently think I ought to find amazingly interesting just because they do. Nah… The day they start discussing geology and programming and art I’ll be totally on board and they might even earn themselves a free passport to my apartment for a limited time. But until then – I reckon my computer makes for better company than they do.
So what if I sometimes envy them for at least having someone to share their stupidity with. At least I have a door to lock and a computer to share my thoughts with. Thoughts that are weightier than average. But if only someone corporeal were here to listen to them and understand…
This essay was semi-ironic, if you know what I mean. I can’t be anything besides what I am and neither can you other people whose neural networks are configured differently than mine.