On 17 November 2018, my life changed. 

Until then, for most of it, I’d felt like a spy abandoned behind enemy lines. The organisation I worked for had long collapsed and my contacts had vanished but I was still out there, living in a world that didn’t apply to me, from which I was exempt, still soaking up the information, waiting for the call when I could tell all and be understood.

My biggest problem was that while this organisation was dead, its ideology was still programmed into my brain, dictating how I saw the world. 

You’re programmed too, by the way, but your programming is better aligned to the external operating system and you don’t notice. 

For example, unlike you, I don’t have a smartphone. 

‘Why not?’ you say when you notice this. 

‘Because I don’t want one.’

‘Why don’t you want one?’

‘Why don’t you want an emu on a piece of string?’ I want to answer but don’t. ‘Same question.’

A lot of it, I feel, has to do with wanting things, or in my case, not wanting them. I don’t want a smartphone; I don’t want new clothes; I don’t want a watch that tracks my location and communicates with my central heating to turn it on when I’m five minutes away from my flat. 

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