“Foucault predicted that this condition of visible, unverifiable power, in which individuals have internalized the idea that they may always be under surveillance, would be the defining characteristic of the modern age.”– Jeffrey Rosen
“A Watchful State”
The New York Times Magazine
The new girl was eating again. Nanveet watched on the closed-circuit television as she nipped the end off a Payday and stashed the rest beneath the counter. One of her cheeks was a stretched pouch of ground up peanuts and caramel, shining pink beneath the bank of fluorescent lighting. She looks pregnant, he thought. Her face was growing rounder and her skin gleamed even in the grainy black and white image on monitor B. She was definitely plumping up around the middle and she’d taken to wearing her woolen coat indoors like she was trying to conceal something. It was caramel colored, long and belted, with a scraggly collar that she pulled up around her neck like a sad mane when she went out for her cigarette breaks.
“Please stop smoking in the restroom,” Nanveet had implored, but she said it was too cold to smoke out in the lot with her voice that grated and drifted like shifting sands.
“Look at my fingers,” she said. They were tight-skinned, the dull blue of raw prawns. “Besides, you can’t smoke near the pumps. You know that,” she said and flipped her palms upward to reveal the callused hands of an oarsman.