To Give is Better
by Stewart Wilson
Self-image is a hard thing to keep through time, and I've seen more time than most people could imagine. The Greeks were the first to have any real idea as to what I am, and even then they were just as wrong as right. Erotic poetry indeed, as if I was ever that limited. I can remember being a man talking to a man in a city called Ur about how words could mean more than just referencing objects. But I have talked to so many people in my existence.
The Greeks saw the most of me simply because they pleased me. As a woman or as a boy I could talk with anyone I wanted when they were at their most vulnerable. Socrates was especially fond of me, as I recall. Then again, so was Idi Amin. I wasn't in Athens when it fell, but I did run into Lucius Aemilius Paullus many years later. He was thinking about phalanxes at the time, as I recall. Julius and Augustus in Rome were worthwhile dalliances, but I had been disillusioned. I had nothing to do with the Nazarene, no matter what the few who know about me might say. I can't be responsible for everything.
On the other hand, I certainly have been over the years. Turing was a cute man in his own way, as was Von Neumann. They got a lot out of me, in the end. I shouldn't have gone to Argentina when I did, and Galiteri wasn't necessarily the brightest moment of my career. But strange things tempt strange people, and Thatcher got so much from me I was practically part of her cabinet. I had to leave her in '87. But politics is such a fun game. Reagan, Thatcher, both Bushes, Blair... and that's just what people think of as the West. Gorbachev and Hitler, Che Guevara and Miyamoto. Mugabe and Sun Tzu. I dallied with all of them, though I doubt they would recall. And not a one of them would realise what I gave them.
I gave them the same as I give everyone I meet, though whether they accept it is up to them. Sex makes it easier, but certainly I never relied upon it. Especially given some... Thatcher, for instance, made me want to vomit and I'm not even sure if I can. But I give them their ideas, muse them and see what they do. Good or bad, I have no say in, and I never remain long enough to be affected by the results. After all, that I give is the whole reason for my existence. And I can say on balance, seeing what so many people have done with what I gave them, to give is always better than to receive.