i look like a normal girl. twenty years old, 5’4″, blue eyes, blonde hair, skinny. quiet. smart. funny. i play the piano. sometimes i read keats, and i like dipping vegetables in ranch dressing and my favorite dress is blue and slinky and soft.
but here’s a secret: i’m scared of cameras.
everywhere i go, i know they’re there, recording and tick-ticking. every time i’ve wanted to spend the day naked or steal a book or cheat on an exam, i’ve stopped myself because of the cameras. i feel guilty when i babysit for my friends, because i spend hours sitting on the couch watching TV after the baby goes to sleep, because i know they’ll watch the footage when they come home and think me lazy.
i’m damaged, okay? my mother’s doctrine of parenting was to invade, control, search and destroy and infiltrate my brain and my notebooks and my bed. i wasn’t safe in my own head. i moved out when i was sixteen, but she can still hear what i’m thinking.
i know this is paranoia. irrational. i’m on drugs to soften the blow.
but they don’t stop the recorders from ticking and beeping and blinking, microphones taking dictation.
who am i afraid of? who is coming to get me?
i don’t know. no one. everyone.
i will be punished.
i should be shot.
i would hate to be captured on film, never able to die.