Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Things I Would Be Able to Do If I Were A Spy And/Or Assassin

If I were a spy and/or a genetically engineered assassin, I would have perfect teeth. It would not matter how much coffee or red wine or cigars or blueberries I ate, they would always be shining white because they would be covered with a stain resistant alloy. My pant pleats would always fall perfectly without me having to learn how to or even buy an iron. The tips of my fingernails would cut you like fishing wire. My cellphone would contain the code to decrypt all state secrets in Bjork songs. I would wash my hair only twice a week, but it would maintain a healthy buoyancy. I would have ten different apartments, in ten different international cities, with ten different boxes of hair color in each one. I would always carry a Lands End Royal blue backpack, and inside would be an ax, a hammer, a cb radio, toothpicks, cotton bandages, five different sized flashlights, and two bottles of very rare Haitian rum. Also a photo of a small ugly child.

I would be able to break someone's neck with the same amount of force it takes to open a jar of pickles. My skills at hacking into orbiting satellites would be renown in Brooklyn and Portland. All of my credit cards would be black, marked with unknown Indonesian banks, and would work at every ATM. You would not be able to see my reflection. My enemies would be able to identify me with the slightest whiff of roses, but only long after I was gone. I would never drink tea.

My true love would a lockpicker and document forger in the Ukraine named Elvis, who has a dying wife. We would meet for coffee in Instanbul and never touch. Whenever I needed a new identity, I would send him a dove with code wrapped around her foot, and only he would know what the seemingly random pictures of kittens meant. His wife would also be blind. Later, he would go blind too, and I would live with him in a small cottage on a desolate Spanish rock, where he would write books in Braille about the unfairness of a well lived life.

My favorite spot in the world would be the very southern point of the South American continent. It would be the only place anyone could see my natural hair color, and the birthmark left there by the research facility that raised me to survive in space.

I would not own a boat or a plane or a train or a helicopter, but I would be able to use one whenever I needed, through contacts made in my prior life as a world famous rock bassist. Everyone that met me would fall in love with me, and be doomed to compare all other people's collarbones with mine unsatisfactorily. My arch nemesis would be a 19 year old boy living in an abandoned resort on the Black Sea, who believes I killed his father. I would know I have to kill him one day, but would avoid him because of his eyes, which look exactly like mine.

Every time I died, I would be reactivated in the Congo.
I would own cardigans in every color known to the human eye.
A nomadic tribe in Tibet would hold my mail.
My wrists would be too small for any handcuffs.
I would be an expert on Turkish novelists.
17 men would be unable to kill me. Not one of them would survive to report my gender or height or timbre of my voice.
Occasionally, I would amuse myself by writing scathing social essays for the New Yorker, but just to let my parents know I was still alive.
I would have a scar running from my left breast all the way down to the hollow of my hipbone, but it would be from a polar bear.


  1. The sea was gallant and resistant to photography.

  2. When I grow up... I want to write like you... failing that, be reincarnated as one of your essays, read aloud, as the Sugarcubes played softly underneath...

  3. I would totally read that book. That series. That neverending series.

  4. Why Congo? Or if you tell me will you have to kill me?

  5. That's where my Heart of Darkness is kept.

  6. 'Everyone that met me would fall in love with me, and be doomed to compare all other people's collarbones with mine unsatisfactorily'

    have you ever thought of writing poetry?


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