Sunday, August 17, 2003

You are not anonymous.

This is usually how trouble starts. Not long ago a coworker discovered that we live quite close and one night we walked home together. I wasn’t sure what to talk about besides work. I suppose I should have asked her about her something about herself or related some piece of gossip. I suppose that is what one does but I didn't think of it then. Instead I mentioned that the average person living in London is photographed by 300 different surveillance cameras every day. I began pointing out the cameras as we passed, in ATMs, on traffic lights. She seemed concerned, but not as I'd expected. She asked me if I were “one of those paranoid people.” I joked that I have mild OCD. This she seemed to understand. She recommended the name of a “brilliant” therapist.

Is a person who acknowledges the facts of existence paranoid? I suppose I have much to learn about passing as a citizen. Lesson 1—when not sure what to say, keep silent.

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