Doppelgänger [short fiction]

Humanity is an entrance. Humanity is a portal that opens on two sides. On each side of the portal there is a human being. Now ‘to enter’ in French is ‘entrer.’ ‘Entre,’ in French, is a preposition related to the verb. This French preposition translates in English, ‘between.’ Yes, every way we enter is an entrance, every entrance thus a “between”; herein a noun, a thing, a state of being: the between. The act of entering is one of betweening; to be between is to be in an entrance of a kind visible or invisible, again, something that lies between one here and another there. Here and there perpetually pivot on one between or another. There is always a between, a very thin between that borders both here and there when they are right next to one another, the concentric circles of here and there, not the diametrically opposed positions where here is here close and ready and near and the other, the there is there, far and away there.

The between that exists for you and for me is this thing humanity; humanity only exists between you and me, only between two people is there any hope of humanity, of acting humanely. This is where our humanity resides, lives, inhabits–the habitat of humanity. Humanity is the between of being humane; you and me are the limits of this being between. To be tween, twain, two, one side the other side, sided by each, alongside one and the other, next to two times.

I once said in another essay that to enter is to between; yes, simple enough said. Whenever I go through an entrance I have betweened the space. Herein, to between is a verb: I between, you between, everyone betweens.

A woman friend had said, “Rimbaud said in a letter to a friend, Je me deux, or, I two myself, another kind of tearing asunder, of splitting the self and thus creating an internal between-ness inside. Rimbaud’s poetics were in this two-ness. Everybody does do this to himself; everyone’s in the between; I am between here and there, now and then; my humanity journeys from me to you. What then do we say about the journey that is life, this living.

To two oneself or not to two oneself; oneself in two? I am many; I am we; the Self is many, we know.” I knew it was Apollinaire.

The self has one as well, a between.

We double ourselves in every meeting; every face we face another mirror.

All journeys are between; your life as it is lived is between. To between or not to between, that could become the question. But to two oneself; what then is this and how to get into the between, to get between one self and the other, between the Self split at least in two, between any two selves of the Self, how then to accomplish this?

Between me and you, between me and another; therein lies our humanity?

How could it not be there between you and me?

Where else would it be, could it stay, could it be found?

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