Allister could see in the man’s eye (both of them even) that he knew who Allister was. Perhaps he thought, "Hey, here's that guy with the mustache who gets a paper from me every morning." Perhaps he thought simply, "Hey, here's that guy." Or even simpler, "Hey, here's guy."
Any way it was cut, though, it was fine by Allister. Call him what you would, as long as you called him the same name each time.
It was a motto he put together only after years of correctional fatigue. One would think, with a semi-original moniker like 'Allister Cromley', people would remember his name. Allister even thought that. And we all thought wrong. In fact, being named Allister Cromley guarantees you only one thing in your life:
On paper, you will constantly be mistaken for the English occultist, Aleister Crowley.
But, Allister Cromley was no more Aleister Crowley than Jeffrey Chancer was Geoffery Chaucer. And, thusly, you could no more accuse Allister Cromley of casting dark spells on classmates than you could praise Jeffrey Chancer for writing The Canterbury Tales on classmates. And once that simple sentence was agreed upon, if the Aleister Crowley name could not be shaken…well…okay. Allister could deal with that.
He was, after all, still himself (and one should not overlook the good fortune of having a friend named Carl Marx with whom to relate).
And, after that acceptance, the names Allister answered to ranged from Aleister Crowley to Albert to Foster McDavis. You could blame some of those mistakes (the Albert ones) on a lack of enunciation on Allister’s part. But, you would be wrong again. Allister tried over-enunciating and would still get Albert. And that was not even taking into account the Foster McDavis types of mistakes or the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of people who had heard Allister’s introduction and correctly recognized his name as Allister, thereby proving that it was no fault of his own (or, at least, not always a fault of his own).
So, Allister thought, why even try to correct?
Now, that was not a defeatist attitude. Allister had not really given up. He had simply looked the problem in the eye and recognized the fact that the problem remembered him as Foster McDavis. And Allister simply stopped recognizing that as a problem.
After all, what was a name really, but a collection of letters and sounds agreed upon. And, though there was certainly validity to Allister knowing his birth name, what seemed more important was the recognition of his name by someone else (even if the name recognized was not Allister Cromley).
People countered that train of thought by saying that it was more embarrassing to find out, after months of calling someone “Foster McDavis,” that that person was really named “Allister Cromley.”
And, to some extent, Allister would agree. But, when you take into account the multiple embarrassments of multiple corrections and add into that the embarrassment that comes with the realization that you have already been corrected, you get an overall embarrassment that completely out-embarrasses someone letting you call them 'Foster McDavis' for a while.
And, in all truthful honesty, Allister himself hardly remembered names right away. So, chances were, if you had just met him, he would probably just refer to you as “you” (as in, “Hey there, you!”) until he had a firm grasp of your name. And it was not personal. Oh no. Not at all or in any of the least.
It was just that, at the precise moment when an introduction occurred, Allister would get lost in the constellations of rods and cones in that person’s eyes. He did not know why that was. And he would even concentrate extra hard, focusing in on the mouth and sounding out each and every word said. And he would stay with the words the entire way through, right up to the introduction and, still, his mind always managed to skip a beat and pick up the millisecond after the name was said.
With the recognition of his own malady, how could Allister possibly hold anyone to the responsibility of remembering his name?
Call him Allister Cromley, Aleister Crowley, Albert, Foster McDavis, or just Guy.
Allister simply liked the idea of being remembered at all.