Loving The Alien (Story of the Two Same-Named Men)


Loving The Alien (Story of the Two Same-Named Men)

The Universe came
And gave me a man with your same name
Spelled the exact same way
With a British accent and as strange:

Not from Camber…well
But Camber…ley
Some family equestrian thing
Folks ran businesses: exactly.

I told an ex, I’m dating; name’s “R____”
“What the fuck now, please?”
No! NOT that ONE, sheesh.
Holy fuck, and his heart skipped a beat.

“Is that weird?” I mean, really.
Yeah, he said: pretty freaky.
Is it weird for you? He asked me.
So many coincidences to count, frankly.

It was my push into checking out this guy.
Whose photos scared me: he never smiled.
Whose brevity was like yours and quite ho hum.
A seeming ‘meh’ attitude, sharpe 2, K? Like a son of a gun.

I did not ask for a man with your original name.
I did not ask that he be in wit exactly the same.
Why did the Universe present me this again?
What lessons are there for me here to retain?

In my writing about you did I manifest?
Can I get what I want, shall I re-focus.

Clarity: your impulsive ways and strange retorts.
Your outbursts and inability to sit still for long.
Your on/off again for years with that girl.
Your kindness, but honesty: “I got bored.”

Once at the pub, his eyes locked stiff
And it sent a shiver down me: I recognize this.
I searched mad from his one eye to the next:

In your big brown eyes with their Maori descent
They were locked and far-off and stared and – vacant.
But at the same time they were childlike, watching me – innocent.
You were a very strange man, you had a secret.

When I asked you “Do you have Aspergers?”
“Err no,” and I never heard from you again.
But when I read about ADHD-ODD for the doppelganger
Is this what you suffer instead?

For all my Life I sought emotionally robust men
To care for my insecurities and solve my problems.
You did that for me daily over the Internet
I could have died in alley, but you got me home safe to #7
at London’s Jesmond.

And he said for me he’d slay dragons.
That I should call his name in dreams if I’m lost in London.
Or, in my dream: “bring your phone next time,” was his logic.
Something you’d say, goddamnit!

Perhaps my lesson then, here on in
Is not to take things so personally as you once said.
That men’s reactions to me aren’t punishments.
They just got shit going on in their own head.

And what of my soft spot for loving the alien?
Universe, why did you bring me two same-named men.

With strange eyes and minds in far-off places?
With biting humour that twists me in faces.
Was it so I can close the chapter that started in 2000?
What message was there for me in this?

Did I villainize again: make myself a victim?
Of a man who never had toward me evil intentions?
When you said “it was a mistake” in blunt fact observation
I cursed you red, and your total lack of emotion.

Lack of emotion the pair you two!
Spock-logic I loved but have a heart, man, too!
And in my quiet, is revealed a truth:
Perhaps you both feel deeper than I can prove.
Perhaps you both feel deeper than I do.

The Universe came
And gave me a man with your same name
Spelled the exact same way
With a British accent and as strange:

And what of my soft spot for loving the alien?

Sylvie Hill 2017

Painting: Erich Heckel’s Two Men at the Table

“Beautiful Nastassya oscilates between the innocent goodness of Myshkin and the harsh character of Rogozhin, until she decides for the worse man, who kills her in the end. Heckel’s painting seems to portray this last encounter between the two men at Rogozhin’s house, where they spent a tense night veiling over Nastassya’s dead body. Dostoyevsky’s experiment to place a good man in an evil world highlights Myshkin’s tragic fate. People don’t know what to do with him; his purity is misunderstood and abused. More…