Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Bowling Alley (part 2)

As I mentioned, the bowling alley had transformed itself from an iconic 50s throwback to a full-out disco nightclub with flashing lights, and our CIA-engineered dog, Bingo, had just disappeared into the crowd to seek out his contact.

Even though I'm supposed to mind my own business and let him take care of the spy work, I just couldn't help looking around for him. Finally, there was my dog, sitting at the bar with a strange man in a hat. As I approached I saw the man pass a small metallic sphere into Bingo's mouth, handling it like a dog biscuit, except that light reflected off the object in many colors--or possibly light was coming from it--and Bingo swallowed it and ran away back toward our table. It just took a second. The disco lights and music abruptly went off, and we were back in the normal, old-timey bowling alley.

Life is full of moments like this, when we realize that we are only bit players, pawns in a bigger scheme, children in a room of adults, hacks surrounded by artists, amateurs in the shadow of pros, dopes in the midst of secret agents, and so on. I'm just a regular guy in a bowling alley. But a vivid imagination comes with an equal capacity for self-delusion. After all, why can't I also be a spy if I have the ability to imagine it?

So, instead of marching back to my table (like I knew I should do), I walked up to the bar and sat down next to the man in the hat. This time (by golly) I would find out what the heck is going on. Here is what he said:

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