Not to brag, but I am going to brag right now. I have a superpower that is the envy in certain circles — I have the ability to be invisible.
This power of invisibility is not one I turn off and on, but is always there with me. The power comes from the fact that I am short, chubby and past 50 years of age. No one, not men, not women and not children, give me a second look … and that’s assuming there is a first look — which there isn’t. When I was younger, I wasn’t a great beauty, but I was cute. Short, sure, and never skinny. In my teens and twenties, I had the body of an athlete — stocky and muscular. But now I most definitely do not meet physical beauty standards set by Hollywood and fashion magazines — okay, to be fair to myself, I might be alright for some of the British mysteries I have been watching lately. So, I am basically invisible, and this absolutely qualifies me for dream job — the job of a secret agent — a spy.
Understand, the best spies do not look like models. They are average, balding, and sometimes pudgy, with little beer bellies. They look like your aunts or uncles. They look like cleaning women, accountants, car mechanics, and Medium bloggers. That’s because they’re not out to seduce anyone. They are not James Bond, nor Pussy Galore. They need their cloaks of invisibility to get into and out of places without being seen, places like offices and homes — in other words, they need to look like they belong everywhere. In these cases, it helps to look like everyone’s neighbor.
Of course, being white, my choice of countries are limited: I would stick out like a sore, pale thumb in Nigeria or in the middle of Mongolia. Another spying plus is that I know Russian, although it is slightly accented by now. But, in Russia I look exactly like who I am — a Jew. No Russian would look at me and think that I am a Russian. So, in Minsk, the place I was born, I am not as invisible as I am here in Colorado.
Maybe I would also be invisible on the streets of Israel, New York or even Washington, D.C. (which I hear has more spies per capita than anywhere else in the world — of course, they are invisible, too, so who knows if this is accurate). I’d do OK in Canada, New Zealand, Australia or Western Europe (but see the Jewish caveat on Western Europe).
Other than spying, I know that, with proper training, I would make a tremendous air marshal. Seriously, who’s think little ol’ me as an air marshal? Or, maybe, I could be a hotel detective — do they even have those any more? (Sometimes I forget this isn’t the 1940s and I’m not Sam Spade)
Basically, my point is being invisible has its privileges and its perks. If ever I get too down on myself and my looks, maybe I will go steal something nice for myself, and do it in broad daylight, in front of a large crowd, and that will make me feel better.