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Archive for September, 2015

A ghostly stare plagues a man during his most private moments…

 gents

I find I must begin with a slightly embarrassing confession. This does not start in a very auspicious place: let me take you to the gents toilets on The High Street, Lethmachen! I was sitting in one of the cubicles the other day, and I suppose I must have been there for a while, because I got to thinking about the door in front of me, specifically about its size. Why do they make them so small? The obvious reason, I guess, is safety: you don’t want a child trapped in there. Yet it seemed to me that there are other advantages in having gaps at the floor and the ceiling. For a start, they must make unsavoury types less likely to engage in their preferred activities. I guess they cost a little less as well. That sounds silly, but I know a thing or two about economies of scale.

Anyway, that was that, or at least it should have been, but this seemingly trivial subject was returned to me later that evening when, in a distracted moment, I found myself contemplating the door to my guest bedroom. This room does not enjoy much official use, to be honest, and since I have been living on my own, I spend quite a bit of my time in it. Well, I was watching television, as is my want, when my eye was caught by the rectangle of glass at the top of the door. My home is rather large, and I find it disconcerting to leave all the doors open, so I had a good view, and it occurred to me that, rather like the gaps at the bottom and the top of toilet doors, this was a design feature to which I had not previously given much consideration.  I suppose it was there to let in light. This was not for the benefit of the bedroom, as behind the door there was only a small, enclosed corridor, containing three doors that led variously to my lounge, study and bathroom. Could the feature, then, really be there to illuminate such an insignificant place, and then only during those hours when the door was closed? It seemed absurd, and I looked on some more, hoping, in the most general way, to understand.

It was then, for the briefest moment imaginable, that there appeared to me two vast, brown eyes, looking through the glass, searching, yet horribly placid. They were not floating, but set within a vast, masculine brow. As I say, the vision was over before it began, the memory of it being, it seemed to me, all I had from the first.

I was struck with fear, really quite pinned to where I sat. I have never felt anything as intense, certainly not in my adult life at least. What disturbed most was not the knowledge that I was exposed, or even the sheer size of the threat, but the incongruity of the space in which my adversary must have been located. What contortions had that body, even momentarily, had to endure. And why, considering this, was there no pain registering in those vast, mild eyes?

If anyone else has experienced similar, I would, of course, like to know. Somehow I doubt it.  This is more generally a warning: these things can creep up on you. I am now more careful than ever about what I look at and what I think.

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