Alice has an invisible man who follows her everywhere she goes.
She does not know he's there, but he’s always watching over her shoulder. When she looks into the mirror, he stands behind her and looks too. She doesn't see him, but he's never far away.
When she walks down the street, he walks a step behind. When she drives to work, he sits in the passenger seat and counts all the blue cars on the road. When she's in a meeting, he stands behind her chair, watching her reflection in the window glass.
He never sleeps, so when she goes to bed he stands nearby and watches all night long until she wakes.
Sometimes he will cough, or crack his knuckles, or reach out and touch her back very gently, and when he does she looks around to see who is there. But she sees nothing.
He's not much to look at, that invisible man. Of course, you can't look at him, and neither can Alice, but if you could, you would see that he is very tall, and that his eyes are very far apart, and that his fingers, they are very, very long.
He's always been there, that invisible man, and he’s seen everything she’s ever done.
When she was eighteen, Alice went to a party. The invisible man went with her. She sat on a corner of the couch the whole night, feeling lonely. The invisible man sat next to her.
At midnight, a boy sat down next to Alice. The invisible man scooted over to make room.
Alice smiled at the boy and then looked away. The boy smiled back, and did not look away.
The invisible man never smiled, and no one would ever see it if he did.
The boy sat closer to Alice. Alice sat closer to the boy. The boy put his hand on Alice's knee. The boy asked Alice for a kiss, and she gave him one. His lips tasted like red wine.
The invisible man wondered what it would be like to give Alice a kiss. He wondered if he should give her one while she slept.
Alice let the boy keep kissing her. Then she let him put his hand between her legs. The invisible man had never seen Alice do this before. He wondered what would happen next.
The boy tried to take off Alice's shirt. She wouldn't let him. He said please. She said, there are people around. He said, so what?
Alice wanted to leave. Then the boy said he would pay her. Alice stopped. How much would he pay her, she asked? The boy told her. Alice thought it was a lot. The invisible man thought so too. Alice's family had always been poor. She had never had so much money in her life.
Alice let him take off her shirt. The people in the room laughed. The invisible man thought they were rude.
The boy laid on top of Alice, and kissed her some more. He tried to take off her bra, and Alice said no. He said he would pay her more. She still didn't want to, but how could she refuse now, after saying yes the first time? Alice let him take off her bra, and another boy in the room said "Nice tits!", and Alice started to cry.
The boy took off his pants, and then hers too. Everyone in the room was watching. The invisible man was watching too, but of course, he always did.
The boy told Alice to suck his cock. Alice asked if she would get more money. The boy said maybe. Then he said if she didn't do it, she wouldn't get anything at all.
Alice was still crying when she put the boy's cock in her mouth. The boy's friends laughed, and the girls called her a slut. The invisible man said nothing.
When she was done, another boy asked if she would suck his cock too. "I've got some change," he said, and Alice slapped him. Then he pushed her, and she fell, and everyone laughed, and Alice cried some more, and the boy on the couch put his pants back on, and he threw the money at her, and he said to get out.
Alice cried all the way home, and she cried herself to sleep, and she cried the next day too. Finally she stopped, and she decided she would never cry again.
She took the money the boy had paid her, and she went to the shop downtown and bought a guitar. At night, when everyone else was at parties, she sat alone on her bed and taught herself to play.
Of course, she wasn't really alone. The invisible man thought she played very well.
Alice never told anyone what she did at the party. But the invisible man knew. As the years went by, she stopped thinking about it, but he never did. Sometimes he would get angry, that invisible man, and he thought about hurting Alice. But when she played her guitar, he would forget to be angry at all.
One day Alice got a boyfriend. The invisible man thought about telling him what she did. Would he want to know, wondered the invisible man? What would he say? What would he do? If Alice's boyfriend got mad, would he leave? If Alice's boyfriend left, could the invisible man leave too? Could he watch her boyfriend now, instead of her? The invisible man wondered.
He didn't tell. Neither did she. One day the boyfriend left, but the invisible man stayed.
Alice got older. Alice got a job. Alice played her guitar, and got married, and had kids, and got gray hair. The invisible man was always there, with his wide eyes and his long, long fingers, always watching.
Alice's life is dull, and so is his.
Sometimes he wishes he'd left when he had the chance. But now he has nowhere to go. It's not much fun watching Alice, not much fun for that invisible man. He wishes he could be like me.
Because I’ve always had fun watching you.