(un)natural: Ideas about naturalness in public and political debates about science, technology and medicine
‘we have learned to imitoot you exarktly.’ – The Simpsons, ‘Tree House of Horror VII’
The doppelganger arrived in the small hours
with a suitcase of clothes identical to mine
down to the last crease and palm oil stain
(the institute is meticulous about such things).
A team of techno-detectives have condensed
my digital footprint to the perfect wallet litter:
train tickets, a Polaroid taken on the day
of my graduation, a receipt from the Museo
Nacional de Antropología’s gift shop.
Every detail fits my natural inclinations.
Still, something sticks, and here the doppelganger
is to divine the finer points of my ontology.
We begin with the day Burial fell into hearing,
a side-street in Newcastle, headphones itching
the skin of my ears. He has a lot of questions
I cannot answer in any language I speak.
After several weeks the doppelganger leaves
to complete his mission. He stands in for me
with such fidelity I have, at times, slipped
and started thinking we are one and the same.
Some days it is hard to know who imitates who.
If, after all, I am not the sum of my habits
but a mass of tangled possibilities, then maybe
I am pretending to be him pretending to be me.