The Internet Knows All

The Internet knows everything. It knows what you shop for, what you purchase, what you’d like to purchase, who you communicate with, what you type, what you delete, what you had for dinner, what dinner you would have preferred; it knows your age, address, and phone numbers, your occupation, whether you work or not, and where; your height and weight and how you feel about them; your passwords and credit card numbers; your plans, hopes, fears. Your desires. It knows I’m typing this and that you’re reading it, though not at the same time, and it will know when you leave this page and where you go and what I’m doing at that very moment and how you got that scar—not that one, the other one—and it knows about that thing you did that you really shouldn’t have done—yes, that one—and about the other thing that happened—the one you’ve tried, without success, to forget—and it knows that perhaps a part of you is sorry, if not about one, then about the other (in the sense that you know it wasn’t right and that, based on your own purported moral code, you shouldn’t have done it), but that mostly you didn’t (and still don’t) want anyone to find out, didn’t (and still don’t) want to be caught—hell no!—partly because of the potential embarrassment and partly—let’s be honest—partly because, let’s face it, there would be consequences—people would judge you, measures might be taken—and what good would any of that do, now, when it’s all in the past, or should be, because, as you know, as the Internet knows, you can’t un-ring the bell or un-post the photo or the comment (if only you could); but even if it isn’t completely in the past—that thing—you’d certainly like it to be, and, let’s be honest, you probably wouldn’t even be thinking about it now (why dwell on these things, these ancient {though it really wasn’t that long ago} mistakes and miscalculations?) if you didn’t know that the Internet knows; would probably be calm and comfortable in you flimsy (only now do you see how flimsy) illusion (created as much for yourself as for others) that you are better than that, better, to be honest, than you really are, better—this is your illusion—than other people (people whose misdeeds are—you know it and the Internet knows it—certainly no worse than your own). IMG_0039But the Internet also knows that, although you swore at that time—swore repeatedly, sweating, trembling, sincere as young love—swore that if only no one found out, if only you could go on as though this hadn’t happened (already you were thinking of it as something that had happened rather than something you’d done), it would never happen again … you’d never do anything like that again, that might not be entirely true.  The Internet knows, it knows all of this, and it is waiting, waiting and watching with infinite patience, like you once imagined your parents doing, like the conscience you once believed firm and unyielding might have done had you been right, like the God you once believed in and wish to god you still could would have done, should have done, though the Internet knows, we all know, that could prove a little inconvenient at times like these. And there will be other times like these, as the Internet knows.

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