I knew the risks when I became a camera. If you see something important enough, your thoughts become a coveted commodity: they steal your memories and sell them tied in twine. Now you may find my life for sale in certain stalls, on dusty street and twisting alleyway; it is available on moistdisk, opticube, and dryROM. There are places on the Net where you can make a copy free, although the colors may have faded to sepia and the passions to pastel. You have taken my memories and slotted them into your head. And you have played them through, reclining on a futon in some neon-streaked apartment, reliving my every sensation and thought from the hour underground with the whale.

If you paid extra for the moistdisk, you can have more than just that hour. You can peer around each thought to see the memories implied in it, the way you'd turn a hologram to see what lies behind the rose. You can freeze-frame at the moment when I first saw the whale, and follow the associations back -- to the argument over Moby-Dick the nigh before; to the first time Voskresenye said the word, in the case on Nevsky Prospect; to the dolphins that made me clutch my mother's hand with fear, at the amusement park when I was six years old. You have searched me and known me: and when at least you put the disk away, you thought of my mind as a sucked orange, dry of secrets.

But what you saw, heard, touched, remembered, does not quite exhaust my meanings. With the moistdisk in your head, however bristled you may be with sockets, what you see is only the moment of experience, frozen forever. It excludes any later reflections upon the event -- as the hologram of a rose in bloom excludes the flower's swollen ripening and black decay.

I will give you my thoughts since that time, but not on moistdisk. I will not let you explore the twining pathways of my thoughts as I explore them -- not again. I will hide instead behind this wall of words, and I will ocnceal what I choose to conceal. I will ell you the story in order, as you'd tell a story to a stranger who knows nothing of it: for you are not my friend, and what you know is far less than what you think you know. You will read my life in phosphurs on a screen, or glowing letters scrolling up the inside of your eye. And when you reach the end, you wil lie down again in your indifferent dark apartment, with the neon splashing watercolor blues across your face, and you will know a little less about me than you did before.