Intersection Operator, a dystopian ghost story, by J. Jupes.
“What made Eckerly and I compatible? We weren’t nice people, for one, both cowards, emotional abuser types riddled with guilt. We had lost anything meaningful by the time we reached thirty. We formed our own whiner’s club. Two members. We descended, street level. Dragged people down stairs. Dropped them out windows. All of it made me sick, paradoxically. Half the time neither of us could remember doing it. We drank. We did what was expected. At some point, we looked at each other and nodded. Then stopped.
I wore a dress, worked undercover. That gave me an edge. Years later Powski told me the edge was just in my head. In my head? Yes, he said, you have no edge. This is a delusion. Eckerly was a little raging elephant. Wasn’t brave. Stupid. He would do the opposite of what his fear told him to do and do it without consulting me. Why would you do that? Everybody is crouched down behind the banister. There are bullets. Why would you stand up? Why would you go in that room?
He’d go in. I’d go in after him. The reason I’d follow Eckerly was I knew he had bad luck in every other area of his life except when he entered a room where everybody was packing. I don’t know why that was. I knew it was safe to follow him. Powski agreed. Yes, Powski said, it’s safe, OK to follow. The first time Powski said that, I asked him just what kind of psychiatrist are you,? He said, I’m your psychiatrist. Do you want me dead, Powski? He said, Yes, I might want you dead. Powski wouldn’t joke about something like that. This is why I trust him. He doesn’t let me figure things out for myself. He tells me what to do. This saves time. That’s why Powski is my psychiatrist. You see, I’ve changed the subject. I was supposed to be talking about Eckerly.