Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Name “Trillian”

“Who was the lady?”

“Oh, just somebody. Well all right, I wasn’t doing very well with her. I’d been trying all evening. Hell, she was something though. Beautiful, charming, devastatingly intelligent, at last I’d got her to myself for a bit and was plying her with a bit of talk when this friend of yours barges up and says ‘Hey, doll, is this guy boring you? Why don’t you talk to me instead? I’m from a different planet.’ I never saw her again.”

“Zaphod?” exclaimed Ford.

“Yes,” said Arthur, glaring at him and trying not to feel foolish. “He only had the two arms and the one head and he called himself Phil, but . . .”

“But you must admit he did turn out to be from another planet,” said Trillian, wandering into sight at the other end of the bridge. She gave Arthur a pleasant smile which settled on him like a ton of bricks and then turned her attention to the ship’s controls again.

There was silence for a few seconds, and then out of the scrambled mess of Arthur’s brain crawled some words.

“Tricia McMillan?” he said. “What are you doing here?”

“Same as you,” she said, “I hitched a lift.”

Once at a science fiction convention
a girl named ‘Angel’ and I decided
to take a break from the hotel and drive
to a donut shop for food and fresh air.

Angel thought her sister would want to come
so we tracked her down at some room party.

She was being plyed with a bit of talk.

When she heard our donut plan she broke off
politely from the guy talking to her
and when we got to the hallway outside
she laughed and thanked us for rescuing her.

I don’t remember much about our trip
for donuts and fresh air because my mind
kept looping back to the poor guy talking
to Angel’s sister desperate talking
desperate to say words to make her smile
and me interrupting his search for words
and Angel’s sister outside just laughing
and most of my life that would have been me
and I’d have been left standing desperate
and I hated being the other guy
and the donuts didn’t really taste good
and the fresh air didn’t really smell good
and 1980 to 2013
is thirty-three years of interrupting
that guy desperate to see a girl smile
and I hated being the other guy
and I never let it happen again
but I can’t stop it from having happened.

I like the name ‘Gillian’ from a book
or rather an entire series of books
about polite people in outer space
doing science and having adventures.

I like the name ‘Trillian’ from a book
or rather an entire series of books
about more real people in outer space
doing not much of anything at all.

Doing science and having adventures
for me is about the name ‘Gillian’
and the desperation I feel trying
to find her and the words to make her smile.

But the name ‘Trillian’ is something else
and although ‘Trillian’ is a nice name
for me it’s about donuts and fresh air
and after thirty-three years of thinking
about one night of donuts and fresh air
I’m more happy thinking about spaceships
and scientifically recycled air
and scientifically designed dinners
and scientists calculating a plan
and then doing the science step-by-step.

But the name ‘Trillian’ is something else.

For me it’s about donuts and fresh air—
things that go stale after thirty-three years.

Doing science and having adventures
for me is about the name ‘Gillian.’

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Name “Gillian”

A Note From The Synthetic Wilderness

Everything Is Out Of Order

Towels To Be Reckoned With

The Donut Shop Parking Lot Is Not Enough

The Sugary Metaphysics Of Lost And Escape

“I do not want to hear anything more
about Dunkin’ Donuts. We don’t
even eat there. Why the hell
are you always talking about them?”

No comments: