This is an interruption. I am sorry. This is not the usual thing for here. I apologize. I spend much of my life apologizing, really, if you must know, and I hold some degree of certainty I will do so again before all this is over and finished.
This is a security check. It is necessary. I am sorry. (There I go again.) Your security – the cyber variety, I’m talking – is so important to us. Here at The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid. The most important thing there is, probably. Possibly.
I am Tom. You remember me probably. I worked at Myspace once and people saw me. Now I work here. At The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid. I have fallen behind. It has been brought to my attention that I have fallen behind. “Social media algorithms.” That’s a thing. I know it is a thing, Mark. If you don’t stay on top of a thing then you fall behind, Mark, I know.
This is a security check.
Your security is important to us.
Your information is secure here. When you think The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid, think “secure”.
These are security questions. We already know your answers. We have algorithms, you see. Loads and loads of them. We want to make sure you are you. We want to make sure your account is secure. Please answer all questions completely. This is a security check.
Q1: If you had to, and we’re not saying you do but if you had to, what are 5 or 6 things you might change your password to?
Q2: What is under your mattress? NOTE: Please list each and every item that is under your mattress. NOTE: We will know if you skip something and your answer will be marked wrong. Skipping something will result in your failing this security check.
Q3: If your mother were coming over, and we’re not saying she is but if she were, what are 2 items you would take pains to ensure were hidden away before she arrived?
Q4: What one thing from your personal past, if known by the person you care about most in the world, would be the most likely to cause that person to abandon you for good?
Q5: Aren’t you ashamed of pretending to be a good person? There are real good people in the world, and then there is you, only pretending to be a good person, and aren’t you ashamed?
Q6: Name a group of people whose plight you pretend to care about because it is expected of you but for whom you, in reality, feel nothing at all.
Q7: Do you really believe that nobody knows about that thing you did? That guy over there – look at him – doesn’t he look like he knows? Why do you think they all look at you like that? Don’t you see that they know? I mean, just who do you think you are kidding?
Don’t stop now. We are nearly finished. Your answers to our security check are important to us and help to keep you safe.
Q8: SCENARIO: You are walking down a street. Any street. It is a fine morning. The light shines through Spring leaves, bathing everything in an otherworldly green glow. Moving eastward – always eastward – you hear a sound. Behind a bush. Bathed in the green glow. You push aside leaves. Behind the leaves pushed aside, you see a face. A little brown but white-veined face, eyes rolled back into its head, moaning, being birthed into this world from some other place. Hanging there, in space, behind the leaves. Climbing into the here. Not belonging here. Do you:
a. Walk off, pretending you never saw it?
b. Kill it?
c. Go and find someone else and bring them back to look at it, hoping that if the little thing is dangerous, it kills them first?
Q9: When, later on, you think about the little thing you saw behind the bush in Question #8 (and you will think about it later on), do you assume the little thing was:
b. A fairy, elf, leprechaun, or a similar sylvan folk creature?
c. An alien of the UFO variety?
d. A hallucination from all the drugs your doctor’s got you on?
e. A dream? You were at home, in your bed, and it was all just a dream?
Q10: A SPOILER FROM YOUR FUTURE: You will live to be very, very old. Too old. And when you are too old, everyone else you have ever known will have already died. You will live alone, in a two-story house. And one night, in the night, as you are sleeping in your bedroom on the second floor of your two-story house, you will be awakened by a sound coming from downstairs. You will be expecting it, sort of. It will be the sound you have always feared hearing in the night. The sound that made you leave the television on or the radio on all night when you were younger, just so you wouldn’t hear. It is that horrible, unresolved thing that has burned away at you for so long, and it will be there, at last, coming up the stairs. Without peeking, and just from the sound it makes, what is it and what will you say to it? (Think carefully before you answer.)
Alright. This has been a security check. We hope you feel more secure. We hope this enriches your experience, here, at The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid, where we work tirelessly to keep your private information private.
We won’t tell anyone about that thing you did. You know you did it. We know you did it. But it’s cool.