14 June 2013

"Interview with a Gatekeeper"

By Curtis C. Chen

I open the door, I close the door. That's all. I don't look inside, I don't go through. You could not pay me enough to go through.

They say what's on the other side always changes. It's different for every person, and different every time that person opens and closes the door. Sometimes it changes on both sides, and the person who went in never comes out. We give them forty-eight hours. Then we have to send the next one in.

It's busier here than you might think. Anyone above a certain national security clearance has to open the door. Every President since Carter has had to at least look inside before taking office. Sometimes they step through, but we never close the door on them. Can't take the chance that he'll disappear. Even if he freaks out—well, that's why we have them do it, right? To see if they can handle it.

No. We have no idea how it works. Every now and then, the eggheads come by with some new sensor they've cooked up. They're always disappointed when they leave. And they always argue about who has to open the door.

See, the door knows who's opening it. It has to, right? Because it shows you something that will scare the shit out of you specifically, and only you. It also knows if there's more than one person looking inside. If there are two or more observers, it does nothing—open it and you see the back wall there. The door works for a single person at a time, and it's eyes-only—no photos, no video. If you try to record what you see, it just doesn't work.

And isn't that almost scarier than the door being a portal to weird-ass places which don't exist? It implies that the door can tell the future. It doesn't decide to stop working after you open the door and pull out your phone to take a picture; it doesn't work at all in the first place. It knows what you're going to do.

But here's the other thing. You see how they installed the door here? It opens toward you. It doesn't work if you open it from the other side, pushing the door away; it only works if you pull it open.

Now think about the doors you have in your own house, like your front door. You pull the door open when you're inside. You push when you're entering the house, pull when you're leaving.

So here's my question. We can open the door and go through—out—to whatever bizarre reality it's created for your own personal torment. But every time we do that, what the hell might we be letting back into our world?

I'm pretty sure we won't like the answer, whenever we finally find out. But that won't be anytime soon. Meanwhile, you know, it's a paycheck. I'm not rigging elections or doing illegal domestic surveillance or anything morally questionable like that.

I open the door, I close the door. That's it.


Photo Credit: SnaPsi Сталкер via Compfight cc