I bought groceries today. Paid with my VISA and signed the little electronic box. Before the gal could say "Thank you, Mr. Wagner, you saved $36.73 off our inflated prices today," an elaborate algorithm grabbed me by the letters and whisked me off into some magical mystical database. I wondered just how many places my signatory is floating around this universe. In how many little rooms, in file cabinets, perhaps a mere millimeter from a rich banker's signature. I wondered about that banker. I pictured him being 30 something, driving a Lexus, living in a 4000 sf house with his pretty wife, no kids, and in debt up to his ears. Did he get some of my money from the government via a bank bailout? At least I'm a millimeter away from him.
There's another signature, smoother, one you can actually read. A girl's writing, no doubt. It's nudged right up against me. It's a slightly overweight Lithuanian girl who bought this condo 6 years ago after her divorce. Now she is supporting a worthless, jobless, younger man, who treats her like crap. I scratch my head, because she's actually fairly attractive. Why did she let herself get into this situation? Even though she's my database neighbor, there's nothing I can do to help her.
In how many other dank little rooms inside a hard disc enclosure, never ever to see daylight again, sitting, waiting patiently to be released from my dungeon by that ubiquitous purge routine. In how many pieces parts scattered around the nation's landfills, after being shredded and discarded like common table scraps. I think I see part of me, just "AG" and part of another letter which I can't make out, on a tiny bit of paper, over there in that prairie. How did it get THERE? How far did it travel? Or, maybe it's not really me. Looks like me, but maybe it's really Mick J"AG"ger. Could CSI determine if it's me? I wonder.
Or, horrors, being pissed upon by a wretched canary, owned by a social outcast who spends all his money on canaries and Transformer toys, and now can't afford a lousy newspaper to line his birdcage, so he steals paper from the company recycle bin. He rents an apartment, lives by himself. Spends most of his time on the internet. Why does he have to use MY discards for his damn birds! Makes me mad!
I wonder how many earthlings are looking at a copy of my signature right this minute, asking "Who the heck is the nearly interesting Willy Wags?", and maybe trying to figure a way to steal my identity in search of personal fulfillment, or gold. I wonder if that scary canary guy scanned my name before he tended to his birds. He seems the type.
Some folks worry about our carbon footprint, but today I worried about my John Hancock. I wonder...