The Lonely Road
rating: +16+x

Whether one passes on or remains is all the same.
That you can take no one with you is the only difference.
-From the death poem of Tokugawa Ieyasu

Another world, another life, another name. I like this planet so far. It sounds very different from when Mather visited it. Now the dominant life forms are bipeds with a bilateral symmetry. And they only have two genders! That’s so cute! I've settled in a quiet little metropolis. My job is not exactly illegal here, and it's not regulated either. Cool! It will be easier to stay unnoticed. But the weather sucks.


I'm making friends with a few other workers. Such nice people. Life is lonely sometimes, wandering across the galaxy. I wish there was a way to have friends that I would not have to leave. Nancy brought me to what they call a Costume Party and everyone complimented me, although I'm not sure why. Nancy is trying to convince me to use their strange technology to meet gentlemen. It would be easier, safer. She told me to just use fake pictures; a lot of the more homely ladies do that all the time. I told her trickery is against my nature. I'm honest and I give a genuine service. People can feel that and that's one reason why they love me. Doing the negotiations in public places is more risky here and I have to be extra careful not to attract attention, but it's soooo much more fun. I love the direct approach; to see the struggle between doubt and desire on their face, and to finally win them over. Like tonight's john. Poor baby had never been with a woman. Well, he still hasn't of course. Anyway, most of the people here have never seen real tentacles before. It's like a first time for all of them.


They rarely come with me more than once and it's all for the best. Except for that funny little old guy, Dweing or something. I can never get his name right. Most customers need a bit of convincing, but not him. He seems to have a fascination with what local people would consider bizarre. He said he finds something interestingly arborescent about my figure; my slender ramified tentacles, my elegant copse of antlers. A weirdo, but a harmless one. He always takes two hours and spends most of his time chatting and talking about stuff. ''Lecturing'' would be more accurate. I'm not sure what he's doing now for a living, but he must have been a teacher or something. When he paid me the first time, he opened his old wallet and pulled out some leafs of Zoon Mandragora, my favorites, still fresh and juicy with warm blood. I was not yet familiar with their local currency, and it was a while before I learned that this is not usual behavior. Speaking of money, they have someone that looks a bit like me on one of their coins, and when I ask people who it is they just laugh like they think I'm joking.


I could never stand the greedy lovers who don't understand when their time is over. I've learned much from Dweyn and now I can better express what I only understood intuitively before. Nothing lasts forever. The sooner we see the beauty of that truth, the happier we are. People think true love must last a lifetime, but eventually everything is forgotten. That doesn't mean it's worthless. What does it matter if passion lasts for 2 years, for 2 to the power 1972 years, or just for an hour of 50 minutes? Every new lover is a rebirth. The previous ones forgotten, but still a part of you; another dream in our eternal transmigrations. We don't measure the value of a life by its length; why should we measure the worth of a relationship by how long it lasts? Of course, things are never so simple. There are other practical considerations.


Some policemen came to see me concerning a complaint from the neighbors. I guess they had no idea how they would write their report, so they just gave me a warning. It's so easy to manipulate these Humans by pretending to be an empty-headed floozie. The law enforcers here are especially laid back compared to others I know. I'm not worried about them, but I'm starting to attract too much attention. Time to move on again soon (and just when the weather was starting to warm up!) Who knows how all this will end? The vagaries of Fortune are irrelevant; there is only the Way. One peak, with a thousand paths leading up to it. Some people make flower arrangements, some people practice carpentry. Like Dwaeng thought me, ''we all shape the same energy to improve ourselves and make the world a more beautiful place in any way we can''. I have an idea that will improve people's lives here a little. Maybe it will compensate for some of my past mistakes. ''Put yourself into it. Work hard and you will get results.'' I won't have time to finish that project before moving on, but Nancy can take care of the rest. She knows some people in the fashion industry.

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