leave no trace

Since leaving my girlfriend I've become obsessed with not leaving a trail. I don't want anyone to track me anywhere, and sometimes that means I have to make some concessions to privacy. No more cell phones. Only use the internet from public places. Encrypt everything. And so on, and so on.

It's not enough. I've taken to trying to clear up my fingerprints from everywhere I go, shaving so I can't leave any hairs anywhere. Gloves if I can get away with it, and long sleeves. I've stopped smoking. It's harder than it sounds, because you can't let people know you're trying to wipe out your trail. You have to look natural. You have to look unremarkable.

But I was walking to the store today to buy groceries--cash--and I realized--I still wear shoes. The soles wear down. Every step I'm taking has got to be leaving some little bits of rubber or leather or whatever I'm wearing there on the sidewalk or the floor or the street. Could someone follow me if they knew what to look for?

And there they are. A little beat up already, even though I've only had them for a week or two. And they are beat up because of where I've been. Every step, every time I've tripped over an unexpected bump in the road, that's on my shoes, and that must have left its little trace. It's like no matter what I do I'm leaving traces. Someone could find me. They could know everything I've ever done.

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