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I spend a great deal of time pretending I'm not paying as much attention to people as I actually am.

People love that they can come ask me questions, and I can tell them where everyone else is and what they're up to. They hate thinking this through to its logical conclusion, which is that in order to do this, I have to be keeping tabs on pretty much everyone I recognize, pretty much all the time. I do it because:

I like having a working mental model of my environment, which doesn't go so well if I don't track most of the moving parts;I find it fascinating and in some ways very elegant to watch people wandering up to and into and past one another all the time, like the chaotic Brownian pattern of pollen grains on water;I can't turn it off without busting out the really good drugs.
These thoughts are apparently weird, and most people get very squirmy if I share them. They get uncomfortable when they realize that not only do I know what they are doing, I also remember …

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