Saturday, November 20, 2010

In Which I Am Obsessed With Spies

I like to imagine that I’m a spy. In my fantasy, I travel to interesting places to find out important things. I am elegant and competent. I wear great clothes and I always have a witty comeback, like James Bond but without the sexism.

I can lie perfectly. I can move silently. I can pick locks, hack computers. I can navigate a party with ease, picking up revealing information from the chatter around me. I always get the girl. I speak thirteen languages and have twenty false IDs. When I steal the secret documents from the evil corporation, I don’t leave a trace. I work for the good guys. I get the job done.

In reality, I know that this could never happen. For starters, spying isn’t so glamorous as all that. And spies usually work for the military, which I wouldn’t want to do. But more importantly, I would be a terrible spy. I’m clumsy and easily fatigued. I can’t pick locks or hack computers – I can’t even drive a car. I always think of witty comebacks too late.

I think the reason I fantasize about spying is because I would be such a bad spy. In my real life, I get frustrated a lot. I feel awkward, slow, incompetent. But in my spy fantasy, I always know what to do.

[This is another translated German class assignment. If I write more about my spy obsession I'll definitely discuss spying as an analogy for passing, moving through a world that you don't exactly belong in and trying above all else to keep that strangeness from showing. Trying to spot your contacts. Deciding when and how to blow your cover. Though I would of course be a bad spy, in some ways my life is kind of like spying.]

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Long Way

[Image description: an inaccurately-drawn map of a room in my college dining hall, with two lines indicating different paths to a table. One path is a relatively straight line through an area free of obstacles, and this is labeled "ideal route." The other path is needlessly circuitous and is labeled "my route."]

I haven't posted a post in exactly one month today. This makes me sad, because I want to write a lot of posts. I'm working on a long, heartfelt one right now, an essay about a movie I saw recently, but that's not done yet. So I'm posting this comic I drew instead.

This is a hyperbolic drawing; I don't really take a path that is that convoluted. But it is true that I have trouble with spatial awareness and often can't identify the best route between two points. My friends have noticed that I'm just as likely to go the long, crowded way as the short, easy way. Or if I'm leaving a building, I might leave through the door on the opposite side from where I need to go next, and then walk around the entire building to get to my destination.

Now that my friends have pointed this out to me, I'm trying to memorize short routes between different buildings so that I can save myself time. In the meantime, I've found that if I wave to my friends from across the dining hall, they are more than happy to point me in the right direction.