Say Cheese
Bev Vines-Haines

I’m not trying to be cynical here but my years in Reykjavik, Iceland were as bad as they’ve been in any other place.  Thing is, it wasn’t just the cold.  Cold I can handle.  I can add layers.  Take layers off.  I worked at the top of a high rise and weather wasn’t really my issue.  I could have done without the northern lights.  You know how it is when you go to a fireworks show and the first seven or eight explosions are impressive and everyone is swooning and oohing and ahhhhing and all that?  But after a while you just want them to stop and bring on the beer.  Same with the northern lights!  All the time.  And it’s like they’ve never seen them before.  People stopping their cars in the middle of the road and pointing.  “It’s a green glow!” I’d yell.  “Move along.”

The blasted summers were the worst!  I like my sleep.  Imagine if the sun didn’t set!  Like it’s always daytime.  Crazy.  Unnatural.  I do think I might go back there in about fifty years when I start liking art, museums, statues and all that stuff.  But it is not for young men!  One time I went out to this lake Tjornin and I’m like getting friendly with a girl and we’re sort of climbing this mustard colored rock and everything is great when all of a sudden these cops come running.  “Stay off the rocks,” they yell.  It was like we were burning flags.  Turns out there are webcams everywhere in Reykjavik.  I mean now we’re getting used to them everywhere, I know.  But I was not used to being on camera everywhere I went in those days. 

I have thrown in the white towel on these cameras.  Did you know there are hundreds of webcams live on the Internet?  When I can’t sleep I just grab my iPad  and I start scrolling the world.  I watch gorillas in Africa, bears in some other place, eagles, hawks and pandas in captivity all over the earth.  I know the bears are captive because the rocks and pans and stuff look fake.  The gorillas have a fence so no escaping for them.  It’s possible the eagles and hawks are free but there is this falcon on a building ledge and you know they grab him if he tries to get away.

So the point of my rambling is this. It doesn’t matter if you are in the heart of New York City, the jungles in Africa, on some island beach or even up in Raykjavik, Iceland, there are cameras watching you.  Somewhere there is a guy like me watching every move you make. 

First published: May, 2014
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