I met a man who wasn't there.
He wore a dark brown coat and a fedora, even in the blazing sun. He said his name was Dalmas and that I had created him. He said that I wasn't real. Not real like them. That I was just a shadow of a thought. He stuck a cigarette in his mouth and lit it and then told me to play the goddamn game.
He was playing the game, too, he said. He was playing the game because I made him play it. And now I was playing it.
How can I play without rules, I asked him.
There are rules, he said. But they are unheard and invisible and ineffable. They cannot be understood or explained. But rules are rules, he said. And we have to play by them.
And then he slowly faded, like words written in disappearing ink.