They Know

They're keeping tabs on you. They know all about you. Don't believe me? Justlook at your credit report: Bounced checks, a maxed out Discovery Card, andthey say you never returned that video, Boys on the Side. Sure, you say younever rented that. But they know better. They know what you don't, that youforgot to eject the tape before you got drunk and traded your VCR for a boxof crayons.

They got it all: You still owe $10 to Jerry's Kids for a pledge outstandingsince 1982. And you still owe your brother an apology for shooting him witha bb gun in 1976. It's all right here, and there's more since they changedyour college transcripts. Now there's an asterisk next to the B you got inSpanish, indicating that you've since forgotten how to conjugate irregularverbs.They tell about the time you faked a massive head injury to get out of anethics exam, and the time you stuffed the ballot boxes at student electionswith 156 votes for Pat Benatar. And they say you attended Free NelsonMandela rallies with the sole intension of finding a date.

They're digging up everything. According to their research, you don't flossas often as you should. And according to their data, you can be sort ofstuck-up at times, but they say you're not fooling anybody but yourself, andthat you need to give up your lifelong dream to found a secret cult thatwould one day overthrow the Masons.

They're telling on you, all about how you'd always forget your grandma'sbirthday and that broke her heart and it's too late to make up for it nowbecause she's dead. They told about how you used to keep pictures under yourmattress, pictures of that chick who played Nancy Drew, and about how you'restill afraid you might go to hell for the impure thoughts she conjured inyour twisted little head.

They say you're not going to hell, not for that. You would if it were up tothem. But it isn't. Not yet, anyway.

With all their power and technology and omniscience, they got everything onyou. And now I do too. But don't worry, I won't name names here. I think weall know who you are.

About the author:

Stephen Ausherman's latest book is a collection of travel stories titled Restless Tribes (Central Ave Press, 2004).