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I am going home soon. Just another few days and my flight will take me away from this country (named COUNTRY).

Xiaohui says I should stay. I do not know. I like her world, but it is a dangerous one. And Lizzy is still here, still somewhere. I want her and hate her altogether.

And even Xiaohui says that one of her tribe raped a girl to get into her city, just to get in, and left her bruised and beaten and I cannot condone that. There must be rules. She says they dealt with him. But when you tell humans, rotten monkeys that they are, that all is permissible, such things will happen. Can I live in a place where all is permissible? Isn’t that what P—t is? But there if I were to do such a thing I would be immediately devoured by clockwork worms, so I feel there is some justice, and it has a sense of timing. I do not trust Xiaohui to have the same efficiency.

And I miss Chieko. Both of them. I feel I have something to say to the lover, and comfort for the sister. Xiaohui says if I must go there is a place like hers in Kyoto. My city. My home. Such secrets she holds Kyoto, the slatternly thing. How could I not have known. Will I find Chieko there, naked, under lights, waiting for me to catch up to her, as I have never been able to do?

My publisher has declined to purchase my second book. This is to be expected. It is a travelogue, and all but the uninitated would call it fiction. I have no money. I must go home. And yet. That which is truly my home is always fleeting. I simply pass the time until sleep, when the hearth of my heart opens up and I can walk with those golden worms, and converse in wormy philosophies, and feel myself at rest.

I must go home.

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