Author : Daan Kogelmans

Harry has wrapped a tentacle around his inner lobe, which means he is thinking deeply. Two of his cigarettes have gone out, he squints in the orange smoke. Then he coughs.

“You smoke too much,” I say.

“I know, I know,” he extinguishes the cigarettes in the hole and scratches his lips. “It’s just that… I can’t stop thinking about these poor things. He points at the glass dome.

I bend over and peek inside. The aliens crawl around in the mud. “You have two of them?”

“Yeah, a couple… They mate sometimes, but without success.”

“They are active though,” I say.

“I gave them some sokaputty to see how they would react.”

“Oh,” I say. One should never expect too much of sokaputty. “Two eyes,” I say looking at them, “let’s see… that’s only three dimensions, isn’t it? Which makes them…”

“Practically blind,” Harry says nodding and lighting a few more cigarettes, “that’s what I worry about so much. Because with two eyes… Man, I would die with loneliness.”

“No contact?”

“Not a flitch, not even a flicker.”

“Than how can they live?”

Harry shrugs, smoking. “It makes me so sad, you know. To be so lonely, all your life crawling around in darkness.”

“Maybe their species doesn’t need any contact?”

He spits on the raster. “No man, they crave for contact all their life. I’ve seen them mating man, they try to touch, they try to lick, they look each other in their two eyes, but they just can’t do it, man, they are lonely as hell. A rock has more contact than these wretches.”

I shake my head and look at them crawling in the mud. “Poor things.”

“Yeah man,” he puts his cigarettes in the hole, “I should quit smoking.”

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