Robots and Aliens
Andrew is a man about six feet tall with dark hair, beginning to gray at his temples where his tumult of thoughts swirl like sine waves. He has beautiful legs, firm and slender, joining to hips and abdomen a muscled frame. He is gentle but sure. He gazes at me with soft maple-colored eyes, thickly fringed. All of the foregoing make him a difficult man to deny.
“I’m a robot,” he says.
His feelings are not easy for him to identify. He may struggle to understand mine, of which there is such a profusion as to overwhelm us both, to make me feel very outside.
“Then I’m an alien,” I answer.
One man I saw last week said I am an enfant terrible living in a cramped room. I didn’t want to hear this. I wanted to hear it but not from him.
I do not want my lovers to think I am a great mind or that I have any particular genius of thought. I want my lovers to revel in my torturous sensitivity and finely incisive emotional awareness. I want to fill this lack for them and be a marvel.
Two artists in love don’t have a relationship, they have an artwork and a problem. That problem is to decide who creates art and from whom art is created. Gilbert & Gubar discuss the male “anxiety of influence” and the female “anxiety of authorship.” A woman may question her authority to tell the truth, and what might become of her if she tells it.
There is another anxiety: the anxiety of museship. If a woman is the inspiration of art, if a male artist tells the truth of her first, her truth about herself and about him becomes its own imitation.
All writers want recognition for their literary efforts. I do not want it from men. I do not want a man in awe of me before I begin. From lovers I want love of myself. I love not what I can produce but the turbulent source that produces it.
This is why I like robots. They don’t care much for poems except that I care for them. They love my ability not to articulate the struggle of the artist, but the struggle of the alien against the bonds of human society. A woman in isolation seeking company in that cramped and lonely room.
To be an alien kissing again and again a handsome robot is a happy enough arrangement for me. Two robots would have little to discuss, love a chess game. As it is this robot perceives and interprets his actions as expression of his unnamed emotions. In return he steadily contains and carefully considers the easily named emotions of mine. Otherwise all is noise, no one is heard, only the crash of one wave into another.
I reject the patriarchal auteur theory, that the director deserves absolute recognition, or that the author has ultimate authority; that the progenitor and not the subject, inspiration, or collaborator can claim origination. So I claim and then renounce authorship: Andrew wrote this.