Fuckin’ A, man. CIA man.

I used to have this fantasy where I was in the CIA, but not like on TV. I didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t hunt terrorists. I just went to cafés and watched who came in, and I listened to their talk and made note of any patterns. That was it, my whole job.

I used to sit in cafés and pretend I was working, drafting up the reports I’d submit later on, like trilbies are popular with kids under ten. That new Marvel picture has sparked interest in con games. I heard a new slang today—dagg. It means shady. If someone’s acting dagg, they might be up to no good.

I’d write my reports, but I’d never know who read them. I’d just get a cheque at the end of each month. Sometimes there’d be a bonus, but I wouldn’t know why.

I wish that were a real job, watching the world go by. I think I’d be good at it. I’m pretty invisible, easy to miss. Like, back in school, I stole all those books. I stole thousands of books, but nobody saw. Nobody saw, either, what I did in maths—I made a cheat calculator with formulas carved into it, hundreds of formulas all over the shell. I had that all through school, and through uni as well. And nobody saw when I snuck onto a plane, though the seats were all sold, so I got caught anyway.

Another thing about me is I’m lazy as hell. Back in fifth grade, I developed this slackoff technique, based on the assumption teachers are even lazier. What I’d do was, I’d get a new teacher, and week one, I’d be brilliant. I’d stick my hand up for everything, turn in my best work. After that, I’d just coast, and it usually worked. Teachers mostly assumed I’d always be brilliant, and they’d give me As for C+ work at best. In subjects like maths, I’d try hard till midterms, then not bother at all. By that time, I could tank every test and still squeak by with a C. I’m not saying that to boast, just…I’m really so lazy. A cat in a sunbeam has nothing on me. Me sitting in cafés watching the world go by…what could be more perfect, more fitting than that? (I mean, it could’ve been perfect, once upon a time. Before people frightened me, and long before COVID. Back in my 20s, when I still went outside.)

The way technology is now, I wouldn’t have to be there in a physical sense. I could be in my tower like the Lady of Shalott, half-blind, staring at shadows, but my ears still work fine.

I haven’t had the CIA fantasy in quite some time. I thought of it today for no reason at all, and it made me nostalgic. I should’ve applied, maybe, when I was young…

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