We are watching a movie. There are rooms and lights we take to be your own apartment. The sound of your new apartment is familiar to us, yet exaggerated. It is the sound of an apartment in a world where every noise has meaning, significance.
As you move among the various rooms we take you to be alone. We explore the entire apartment as you go about your daily tasks of eating and washing up.
The sun goes down and you begin to prepare for sleep. Then there is a strange sound and as you freeze, we freeze. Someone is here with you who should not be here.
You are suddenly afraid, and as you are afraid we are afraid. But why are we afraid? You are a fictional person in a fictional apartment. We are a fictional audience watching a movie that does not exist. Yet as you freeze, we freeze. Someone is here with you who should not be here.
Someone is here with you who should not be here. A noise in the next room has told you what you did not want to know and yet you cannot now UN-know. Someone is here with you who should not be here.
You sit in silence, not even breathing, waiting for another clue from the soundtrack of this strange gauzy movie where you are starring as the person alone at home with someone who should not be here. But after some small number of impossibly long seconds without breathing, there is no more strange sound. Even the ambient sounds of the apartment are gone, and their absence fills us with suspicion.
Suddenly a light goes out in the next room. We swear we heard the click of a switch but in our panic we cannot be sure. It could have been a light burning out at the very worst time, but you know in your heart it is not, as do we, as no one makes movies about people whose light bulbs have suddenly burnt out, and we certainly do not sit in the dark together and watch them.
Someone is here with you who should not be here. It is enough to make you afraid but we, it must be said, begin to yawn. We have seen it before. To scare us there must be something more, some way to bring this unseen intruder into the theater. Which is not such a trick. An usher with a flashlight, a Zodiac watch and his right hand in his pocket.
And you, dear reader. Are you alone? You needn’t worry. There is no way for me to bring this villain into the terrestrial world; your world. Your soundtrack is safe from thumps, and your lights are safe from being switched off by persons unknown who have slipped in. And yet.
Someone is with you who should not be here.
Adam Short did not go see the bike race. For shame. For shame.