Yes, I know. I know. I can’t keep taking almost-month-long breaks like this. A writer must be writing in order to be called a writer and all that. Onwards.
Now you guys, don’t be scared by the title, okay? This post is just to reassure my friends at various secret agencies, (including you, Steve), that I’m really quite a nice person. You see, during the last week or so, I might have spent what could be called “a suspicious amount” of time googling things like the following:
“What kind of gun is standard for CIA agents”
“creepy Arabic words”
“fastest way to kill yourself”
Ahem. You get the picture. Obviously I was doing research for a writing project. Obviously. I mean, it’s pretty obvious, right? It didn’t occur to me at the time that it may not be so obvious to other people but now I’m afraid to delete my history because THAT WOULD BE SO SUSPICIOUS. Usually I’m not so scared about being put in the ‘Look-It’s-A-Girl-In-a-Scarf-Definitely-A-Terrorist’ category because honestly, it’s kind of nice. Not in a homicidal way (obviously?). But more because it’s such a confidence booster. I’m barely 5 ‘3, I stammer when talking to strangers and my hands shake when I’m nervous. Yet, I can strike fear in the hearts of, like, super racist people. I once made a grown man think he was about to die. It was all unintentional, of course. He was a driving instructor, poor guy, and maybe maybe I shouldn’t have worn my burqa on the anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing but how else was I supposed to hide the fact that I was still in my pajamas at 3 pm? He called his wife/girlfriend/boyfriend the second we got in the car to let them know he loved them no matter what. I didn’t even think anything of it then but he followed it up with a nervous rant about how much he appreciated Muslim culture and the way they protected their women. I just drove and nodded.
Another time, my family was staying in a hotel at the same time as some sort of cheerleading competition. My uncle and I were going down on an elevator to get the rest of our bags, along with two high-school aged girls in their school’s colors. One girl leaned over to whisper to the other, “We’re going to die.”
I have never been happier to be bilingual than in that moment. Can you imagine me just screaming at them in random Urdu gibberish and them thinking it’s a death threat in Arabic? Hilarity! Of course, that would probably get me and my uncle arrested so I didn’t do that but we laughed anyway.