Sometimes there was nothing to say, but being human meant Tredore went ahead and said something anyway. After all, he thought, saying something, anything – no matter how inane and pointless – was better than saying nothing… wasn’t it?
There had been a time when he’d tried – briefly – to be interesting and original. He’d stay awake at night in bed, trying to think of interesting ways of saying hello and good morning. He’d think of interesting new conversational gambits beyond the usual run of the mill chat. He tried to discover ways of being interesting.
That hadn’t lasted long.
He’d lost friends and a few people, especially those women he’d tried to impress with his witty originality. They now stared at him in the corridors and avoided being alone with him in the lifts or near the vending machines.
Tredore thought about trying to apologise, then realised he’d only make it worse. He was well on his way to becoming the new office weirdo. Which, considering Heldach – one of the janitorial staff – now held that post because of his unusual interest in rats and other vermin, was not something to which Tredore aspired.
After one of his attempts at casual banter had gone spectacularly wrong, when standing by the Mysterious Hot Brown Liquid drinks machine, Tredore decided that from now on he was going to be nothing but normal. So all he needed was some book that explained, preferably in easy steps, just how to be like everyone else. Maybe – with a bit of luck – it would also explain just how everyone else managed it so effortlessly.