In the event I decide to open my own detective agency, I want you to stop me. I’m asking you this now, I am asking you this before it happens. If I tell you I’ve decided to open my own detective agency, in the event that this happens, I want you to stop me, because if I say this, if I tell you this, I’m telling you now I won’t know what I’m doing. I won’t, not at all, and I need you to know this, I do. I need you to know I won’t know what I’m doing, saying, or talking about. I’m telling you this now, before, that I don’t, that I won’t, even though it’s going to seem like I do. I know that it will. It’s going to seem like I know what I’m doing, like I want to do this.
I don’t and I don’t.
It will look like I am serious when I tell you I am going to open my own detective agency. It’s going to seem like I know what I’m talking about. It always does. I will sound very convincing. I will talk with a lot of intensity, a lot of passion. I will lay out facts, I will sound persuasive. I will wave my hands. I’ll wave them convincingly and I’ll say things earnestly and intensely. Please do not believe me.
As I’m telling you about opening my own detective agency, there will be a point where I will stop a minute. I will stop and it will look like I’m thinking about something, like I’m considering something.
I’ll stop while I’m talking to you, when I’m talking about the detective agency I’m about to open. I’ll pause for a second and it will look like I am distracted by something new, something new that’s right there, right in front of us.
I will look like there is some new aspect of detective-agency-opening I’m just now thinking of, something I hadn’t considered previously.
I will look like I am watching it pass by, this notion to which I have given so much thought. Like I just caught a glimpse, a glimmer, and my eyebrows will raise, and my brow will, I think, furrow. This will all look very real. I will raise my hands and it will look like I’m about to say something, to share something, some detective agency something, something that’s going to clarify, to explain this whole thing, all of it, but I’m not. I’m not because I won’t know why I will be doing this. I don’t believe any of this. I am telling you this now. I won’t know why I’ve decided to open my own detective agency. I never do, and I don’t know what that means, what that is, what I just described. There are clues, though, reasons why I would say something like this, why I say things like this, and write things like this, there have to be. This is where my detective agency would come in if it existed, which it doesn’t and can’t. My detective agency would look for reasons, would piece things together, and this is getting away from me, I think. I am forgetting what I came here to do, I think. This is a letter I am writing, a plea, another one, and I’m faking this, I think. I am faking this, but it’s true, and I want you to believe me because this is important. This is me talking to you. This is me trying to gain control, to get a foothold. That is what this is, I think. This is me trying to figure this out. This is me doing this again. I am tracing back the whens and the whys. I am coming up with scenarios, I think, and I plot and I chart and I think I am trying to make this not have happened, any of this, none of this, whatever this is, and I know how this sounds, I do, so in the event I decide to open my own detective agency I want you to say that this is enough, that you don’t know what you’re doing. I want you to say this because you’re right. I don’t, and I never have, not once, and I’m realizing this now, now that this is all about over. When I say over, I am not sure what I mean anymore. I am not sure why I am telling you this. I am not sure why I am about to open a detective agency, and I know how this sounds, I do, and I am sorry for asking you this again and again.
In the event I decide to open my own detective agency I want you to stop me, and I have said this before, and I feel I have to get this all out now so that it’s there and we understand this, because this will be the last time, because this is almost over, no matter what I look like or how I wave my hands.
© Ben Slotky
[This piece was selected by Sara Crowley. Read Ben’s interview]