I’m near the conclusion of a psychological thriller after a struggle with writer’s block earlier in the year.
At this point of the story, central character Alan has discovered information about an event he doesn’t fully recall and he is being closely monitored:
At lunchtime, I sprint to the deli to fetch sandwiches for Kerry, Barry and Gordon. The unseen person watches me leave the gym; but he or she is also there when I turn the corner by the main square, scanning me amongst the tourists and the walkers with their binoculars and maps. More than one person must be monitoring me, since no one can be in two places at once. I think again of Gordon’s theory about corrupt officers desperate and mean enough to silence me, but the theory no longer makes sense.
In the deli, I feel the gaze fixed on the back of my head. The person watches me take cash from my wallet and place the cash on the counter, stuff my wallet in my inside jacket pocket, exit with a tray of sandwiches and drinks, and make my way towards Burrington Bridge to the cobbled street where the gym in situated. I wonder how much more of this I can take. It feels like a psychological form of Chinese torture by water drops, designed to make the recipient go mad slowly. I force myself not to glance round and hurry inside, the only place where the gaze isn’t.