Watching the street

There’s simply nothing interesting, I declared.

After setting up the Nest cam, I became obsessed with watching it. But pointed at the street from the small room in the apartment, there was nothing useful.

That is, I had a clear vantage point to record misdeeds of cars driving. Illegal u-turns usually from Lyft or Uber. Motorcycles revving unnecessarily. Speeding cars. Unneeded honks. But all of that, for very little.

I couldn’t see the faces of passing pedestrians, being so high up on the top floor of the duplex. In the changing lightness and darkness, the camera couldn’t detect the differences between a person and sunlight. Also further, if the light wasn’t right, a person would appear as a blog entering the household. To the camera, it would appear that nobody was there at all.

I am a little obsessed with being a voyeur. But sometimes it doesn’t seem to pay off. At first, I want to hear the things that I never got to hear. But soon, I realize, it’s incredibly dull. I don’t care about the ongoings. I don’t care about the common conversations. The juiciness of every day lives (and misbehavior) tend to be hidden and discrete, way below the surface of people.

In the evenings, I go to the Nest app and swipe up and down. There always has been this hesitation for me when I look at these services built on fear. I know that I will easily buy into it. Because I want to protect myself. Better safe than sorry! But I know that’s the same reason why people get a gun. Just in case, they say. I want to have a sense of control, they say. And they say all of this as they hug the cold metal to their chest, frightened at any slight movement, shooting unnecessarily to someone who deserved to live.

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