He held several iPhones in hands, shuffling them idly while keeping his eyes fixed on my forehead. I asked him about the state of the economy. Depends on the phase, he told me. Allow me to demonstrate. He laid four iPhones face-up on the table. On three of the screens were displayed images of American folklore (one being Paul Bunyon). On the fourth was a rotating model of some distant planetoid. The goal, he said as he lowered his eyes, is to find the particular.
Having stated the objective he flipped each phone upside-down with the practiced grace of a professional sharp. At times during the course of this game your eyes will swear these devices move on their own. You are allowed to believe what your eyes tell you in such moments, but only on the condition that you have not forgotten my one true name. At other times you will sit in awe before the wonderful deftness of my fingers, marveling at an illusion of complete control. Be warned! You are allowed to believe this only so long as my one true name is absent from your mind. If at any point your belief catches up to–or passes– itself, you will suddenly discover that you are alone. Behind you there is a fading map which I will take with me. In its place I will leave a litter of napkins and broken pencils for you to work out the figures, but your faith in the figure will be lost.
You may stop the delightful movement of these devices whenever you so choose, but your selection must carry with it the force of a wager. If the device you select is not the particular, all four devices will once more take up their dancing. This process will not end until you find the particular or I am forced to leave you utterly alone.
We will begin at your word.