One day I received a call from an apartment on 54th Street. The voice on the phone sounded scared. A detective of the paranormal like me immediately perceives that kind of detail. Definitely, the voice timbre was that of a panicked woman. In addition, she was screaming for help without stopping. After only a few minutes I was already in front of the mirror in her hall, looking at it carefully. It’s not that I’m vain: it’s that the problem was in the mirror. According to the woman, the mirror “was slow”. At first I did not get what she meant. I thought that I had misunderstood and that the problem was in the clock that hung on the wall in front of the mirror. So I turned on my heels and compared the time that the clock showed with that of my wristwatch: both coincided. I smiled: if both clocks were equally slow, they must be soulmates. That touched me. But then the woman grabbed me by the shoulders and made me face the mirror again. I thought she must be nuts. “If the problem is in the clock, we can look at it directly” I said, “There is no reason to do it through the mirror”. But she insisted that the problem was in the mirror. Besides, it was not likely that my watch had found its soulmate: both showed the right time.
I knew that mirrors have a bad reputation in the literature of the paranormal. People saw things in them. I mean, things that should not be seen because they were not there. (That’s a good reason not to see a thing, it seems to me.) However, after looking closely at this mirror in particular, I found nothing that was not in front of it. “The mirror is slow”, insisted the woman, “Look at the time the clock shows in the mirror”. I checked my wristwatch again. In fact, the clock in the mirror was a few seconds slow. I immediately turned to the wall clock: it did show the right time. “Do you see it now?”, said the woman. I tried to downplay it: “It’s only a few seconds …” “But what kind of detective of the paranormal are you?!”, she blurted out. “A mirror should not be slow even a thousandth of a second!”, she exclaimed, and I had to admit that she was right.
Back in my office, I was testing the mirror. The woman had left it with me until I solved the case. I threw objects in front of it, objects that touched the ground a few seconds before they did in the mirror. “What a weird thing!”, I told myself stupidly (After all, weird things were the specialty of a paranormal detective). I did not have the slightest idea where to start. How the hell do you set a mirror? The reason for that anomaly did not even occur to me to try to discover it. I just wanted to nullify its effects: that gap of a few seconds! If the damn clock had not been right in front of the mirror, the woman would not even have noticed the problem. Then I had an idea. I grabbed the mirror and went back to the woman’s apartment, pretending to have solved the mystery. While I hung the mirror, I told her that I was thirsty and she offered to bring me a glass of water. When she disappeared into the kitchen, I leaped on the wall clock and turned it back by a few seconds. When the woman returned, the mirror showed the right time.