Beyond Mr. Conrad who attends to the allowance she receives through National Assistance, seventy-six year old Margaret Ross, who lives in a cluttered run down flat, is emotionally all alone in the world. Her husband Archie left her over twenty years ago, and her grown criminal son Charlie only uses her for whatever he can get out of her. Despite being a bright woman, she is not totally in mind. She has several continual delusions, the most common being that ‘they’ are listening to her through the apartment building’s pipes and through her wireless radio. As such, she is constantly asking into thin air, “Are you there?” Following an extended hospitalization the result of an unfortunate incident involving an unscrupulous woman she met at the National Assistance office, Margaret is no longer able to take care of herself. Mr. Conrad, on behalf of the government, takes it upon himself to ensure that she is well taken care of, physically, emotionally and legally. As such, the authorities go looking for Archie Ross.