i am falling asleep, with my MSN left on, upset because a friend of mine never phoned as he was supposed to. he logs in sometime during my slumber, and i ask why he never called. i have a very bad feeling. i can't make sense out of anything he's saying either, it's all random strings of words and gibberish. but then, i become aware that there is a kind of pattern and re-read some of the msgs. certain letters emerge out of the text three dimensionally, stained deep red, spelling if then do.

eventually, i piece together that he is out somewhere playing hide & seek with if then do. i end up in a patio outside a bar where everything is so dark you can scarcely make out individual shapes, seen only in degrees of shadow. there is no sign of my friend. the outline of yr face emerges from the darkness and you explain the rules of the game to me in a hushed voice. i understand, as i have from the beginning, that this is no ordinary game of hide & seek.

"you have to stand very still," you whisper.

(we hide here silently ssssshhh can you hear us)

"keep standing still and you will begin to disappear."