He’s one of those guys
you see at the bar all the time,
but never quite realize he’s there, so little
is the impression he makes on you.
You’re not the only one. No one seems to notice him.
He kind of moves about the place like a shadow,
now attaching himself to a party
of three near the pinball machine – standing behind them
pokerfaced – now sitting bent up in the corner,
his bland eyes panning to and fro.
One day, after realizing I’d been seeing him
around for ages and knew nothing about him,
I asked my friend Helmut for info. “He can say ‘I’m hungry’
in twenty different languages,”
said Helmut. “He thinks it’ll help him pick up chicks.”
“Do you think it’s ever worked?” I ask.
“He said it has – twenty times.”
Helmut and I watch as he cleaves his way
through the crowd, this tall, tarantula-like creature
that no one
acknowledges or perceives,
which doesn’t seem to bother him at all.
He finds a place to stand by the coat rack
and stares out at the people
as if he too were a piece of furniture.
I sometimes wonder if there are aliens
disguised as human beings among us,
watching and reporting
on everything we do.
If so, does it not seem likely
we’d barely notice them and, perhaps,
that they’d be programmed
to say ‘I’m hungry’ in twenty different languages?
Helmut and I watch as he stands there
next to the coat rack, pokerfaced,
his soulless eyes
taking us all in.