Twitter paranoia

February 2, 2009, 3:45 PM UTC

twitterI woke up this morning and realized something was definitely off. Wrong, you know. A kind of… squirrely feeling, like something was lurking just around the corner, and that was before I even left the house. I walked into the living room and there was nothing there. But there had been. There was a scent of something lingering that didn’t belong. I couldn’t quite place it. I threw on my clothes and got out of there.

It was no better on the street. There seemed to be something  just out of sight, beyond the scope of my peripheral vision. Every time I would glance in its general direction – where I felt it might be – it sort of vaporized, leaving a vague aura where something, perhaps, had been.

It was cold, so I decided to take a cab. The truth was, I also felt kind of nervous being out there. Who knew what might be gaining on me if I moved too slowly?

As I always do, I looked at my BlackBerry while sitting in traffic. That’s when I saw what was going on. “Hi, stanbing,” it said. “Jonathan Sirlin is now following your updates on Twitter.”

I should have known. It’s happened a lot recently. Only last Friday, while I was downstairs doing some laundry, I opened up the dryer to find Lex Warschovsky in there. He was all crumpled up in a little ball, as you can imagine, but it was definitely him. He looked okay otherwise. I haven’t seen him since we were both newbies at the corporation. Lex didn’t make it and is, I believe, doing Marketing Communications somewhere in the midwest right now. I wish him well, but I have no desire to have him following me. I deleted his profile the minute I got upstairs and he hasn’t bothered me since.

That wasn’t the first time, either. There was Norval Popper, who I believe was a college associate of mine for a time. Don’t remember much about him, so it was pretty much of a shock when I found him taking a shower in my hotel room last time I was in LA.  I deleted him pretty quick. But it bugged me plenty, I won’t lie to you.

Now they’re coming fast and furious and it’s all I can do to get rid of them all. I have to get busy right now, in fact. I just looked out the window of my office and yes, that’s him, Sirlin, standing by the hot dog stand at the corner and peering up at my building.  And down the street, isn’t that Rosencrantz, my former bunkmate at summer camp, sitting on a bench and peeking out from behind a newspaper?

There’s only one solution to this nonsense. I’m going to have to delete myself. It may be painful for a brief time, but in the end, I guess, some virtual lives are not worth living.