down the sidewalk, wondering where I can buy myself a decent lunch with
the fifty-seven cents I have in my pocket, when a black sedan with tinted
windows screeches to a stop beside me. Four men wearing black suits
and sunglasses burst out, holding badges, screaming for me to freeze, to
halt, to put my hands on my head... but I'm already gone.
prepared for this.
scaled a fence, dropping down to the roof of a car on the other side,
ducked through a gap in another fence, cut across four lanes of traffic,
and disappeared through a small convenience store which (conveniently) has
a rear exit that is always open. An empty lot takes me to the main
intersection, where I blend in with the other pedestrians, leaving the
black-clad agents gritting their teeth in frustration, and muttering
"We've lost him" into their walkie-talkies.
of this is complete bull. There was no black sedan, no pursuers
flashing badges, and no desperate race to escape them. The part that
prepared, because I'm always thinking about things like this.
Walking around, wherever I am, I'm constantly imagining scenarios like the
one above, and planning my escape. Sometimes, cops or Feds burst
from unmarked cars, other times it's mobsters, gang members, or
kidnappers. Sometimes they're after me. Sometimes, I'm just in
the wrong place at the wrong time. You know how it is. But I
always wind up involved, and I always get away.
They kick my
door in late at night, but I'm already gone, slithering out my open,
second-story window, dropping nimbly onto the ledge, and escaping into the
street. If my pursuers are cops this time, or detectives, one of
them has left the keys in the ignition, and I screech away in one of their
come for me at work, whatever job I happen to be on that week, I've
already planned several escape strategies. Vaulting the cubicle wall
(by way of the chair and the desk), I slip through accounting, dash
through marketing, and explode into the back stairwell, running like mad,
my co-workers staring in amazement. I can easily reach the roof of
the building, then make a daring leap to the flagpole, sliding down to
street level. Ventilation ducts are too slow... there's nothing
exciting about crawling, in my opinion, so I usually opt for chases
through hallways and conference rooms. Crowded conference rooms.
sometimes I spot them coming, simply because I've been fortunate to glance
out the window at the right time, noting with horror the many cars pulling
up and emptying. While the agents swarm into the building, I'm
already calling up the elevator to stall them, zipping down the stairwell,
then sneaking through the lobby as they pound on the elevator button.
makes me happier than spying some construction scaffolding on the side of
a building I'll be working in. Nothing. Beams and ladders and
*gasp* those rope and pulley things... perfect to swing around the corner
of the building on, you know, over to the lamppost or tree or even to
when they most often try to ambush me. Picture me in a diner,
looking up from my newspaper, that look of "oh, no... not
here," slowly dawning on my face. Dropping my burger in
shock as I see them rushing up to the diner, then clawing my way
frantically through the crowded tables while people cry out in surprise.
I know the rear exit leads to an alley which leads to a brick wall with a
fire escape, which leads to the rooftop, which leads to many, many
possible avenues of escape.
go, I scope things out. Jobs, restaurants, airports, hotels, malls,
brothels... I know eight ways to escape from the DMV, and only one
of them involves standing in line.
happens, of course. I'm an action hero without any action. I'm
a good guy without a villain. No unlikely series of events has ever
placed me in danger. I haven't inadvertently angered the mob.
I've never been framed with a crime I never committed. Terrorists,
unable to catch me, have never muttered "How many lives does this guy
got my techno soundtrack picked out.
maybe I'll get to use it.