I just graduated college and will begin working in a couple of months. I'll be working in personal data security, a growing industry apparently. The Cambrian explosion of social media portals and discreet cameras that occurred in the last couple of decades has allowed any moment in one's life to become public and searchable. Our service allows you to tag any of these moments and prevent them from being searched. It's pretty cool, I guess.
I'm in the process of finding an apartment in the city. Until then, I'm staying in my home town. It's a nice, quiet town that seeps into the countryside. I haven't been here since I left to go to university in another country, four years ago. For the first month that I was here, I didn't do much. I just sat in my room all day and streamed Botched Celebrity Plastic Surgeries and True Stories of Lust and Murder. It felt good to be a vegetable. But eventually, I got bored and I decided to explore my hometown.
I lost touch with a bunch of my friends from home, but I knew more or less what they were up to by what they posted on various platforms. Walking around town, I would be reminded of where we used to spend time after school. In the fourth grade, we'd sit on the sidewalk playing ring tones on our phones and trying to prevent a pixellated snake from crashing into itself. I walked by the spot where that bitch Velia threw melted ice cream at my face in the seventh grade. She occasionally surfaces in my feed. She's still a bitch.
Even after years of not spending any time face to face, I feel like my classmates have grown up with me. I walk by all of the places where we spent time with each other and I know the exact trajectory they followed to change from who they were then to who they are now. It's not just my classmates, this is true for teachers and other adults that shaped my impressionable youth.
However, there is one figure from my childhood that still manages to elude me. I had completely forgotten about him until I started revisiting the places I used to frequent as an adolescent. Our town is not that big and you rarely find someone who isn't somehow looped in to the network, unless they're a staunch activist who likes to make a whole point about not being connected. This figure doesn't strike me as the socially conscious type and I find it really odd that he has not surfaced as a contact of a contact of a contact.
I first saw him around the time I was thirteen years old. He stopped appearing around the time I was fifteen. I don't know his name, but this nebulous figure is a man that I used to call the Creepy Camcorder Dude.
I'm in this cafe after having finished a long walk around my hometown, circling all of the places where I remember seeing the Creepy Camcorder Dude.