Chapter One - Holland 2008
Although I didn’t want to draw attention to others, because of my internet infamy, neither did I want to be alone. I knew I had to leave Holland though, and hoped the films hadn’t spread further, so I called my New Love’s sister’s husband, who said I would be welcome to visit him in Berlin. So, I started with the B’s rather than the A’s.
I was totally exhausted, and fell soundly asleep on the train. I awoke during the journey to find a laptop sitting on the table in front of me, skewed at an odd angle, so I could see the screen. I thought it strange, yet quite normal at the same time, since reality was enveloped within a disturbing sense of surreality.
The owner of the laptop, who sat opposite me, wore an expression I imagine identical to mine when I saw someone eating snot for the first time, when I was six. I smiled at him, wearily, and fell back to sleep.
Although I suspected his manner may have had something to do with his reaction to my internet infamy, I didn’t consider the possibility he had been filming me, because I didn’t know laptops had cameras at the time. In fact; I knew almost nothing about them.
There were times I knew I was being filmed, but I didn’t include them all in PAM because I felt they would have cluttered my writing. I often saw people filming me when I was painting the mural, but I didn’t pay much heed because I wasn’t aware of my infamy at that point, and supposed they were filming me at work.
I didn’t describe every incident where I was recognised from the short films either. In chapter sixty one of PAM, just before the account of my life ended, I wrote;
‘After only two trips out shopping with them, and feeling it would only be a matter of time until they noticed the strange attention we were attracting, I stopped going out with them altogether. I further disappointed them by refusing to go out for a family stroll, and spent the rest of the two-week holiday sitting in the kitchen, feeling wretched, and blowing weed smoke up the extractor fan.’
Really, I stopped going Christmas shopping with my children and mum because a group of teenage girls stood laughing at me openly in a shop we were in. My second eldest daughter noticed them too, and cringed, while gripping my jacket’s sleeve so tightly it nipped the flesh of my arm. I felt terrible; it was the point I realised the gravity of the situation, and that I may not be able to see my children again.