I caught the bleary-eye early morning flight with nothing more than a single carry-on containing a change of clothes and my toothbrush. The ticket was bought last minute, or at least I had only been told about it at the last minute. That’s how they were going to play it.
A dense fog shrouded the airport as we arrived, landing much heavier than expected. As we taxied to the terminal I noticed no other planes were moving. None landing, none taking off. The nervous stewardess at the front giving me the eye made me realise that our flight had only been given permission to land because of me.
I wink at her and bust out my charming smile – the one that shows off my two dimples – and she nearly swoons right there in the galley. I go back to sipping my drink and staring out the tiny airplane window, a picture of calm and composure.
Inside I am shitting bricks.
There are so many things wrong about this situation.
Firstly, I wouldn’t even know how to flirt with a woman as beautiful as that stewardess, let alone have the debaucherous one-night stand that I am envisioning. If she comes and talks to me I’m screwed. She will realise I’m all smile and no substance.
Secondly, and kind of a big deal, is that I’m here on a mission. I don’t have time to flirt or fuck stewardesses, even if it’s only in my daydreams.
Today is day one of my training. Today is the day I become a government intelligence officer.
I have just severed all family ties, taken on a new name, and moved cities to embark on the glamourous and exciting life of espionage. I’m here, a clean slate, ready to be moulded into whatever weapon my country needs.
That was a few years ago now.
I bit the bullet then and I am biting it now, albeit on different scales.
Back then I gave up my entire life to start again. I went through a grueling 12 week training regime that nearly broke me – firearms, hand-to-hand combat, fitness, strength, speed, memory training, voice coaching, improvisation, and so on. I barely slept and contemplated suicide several times.
But I made it. I fucking made it. I never forget the day I graduated and was given my first assignment.
“Data Analyst?” I asked incredulously, hoping that I had been given the wrong piece paper. I hadn’t.
It turns out my expectations had been set a little higher than appropriate. What I considered to be a stepping stone toward high-flying super-cool global espionage was actually just a fucking job analysing data in a shit-box government department.
It is now three years to the day since I became “Jack Brumby, Data Analyst” and I’m slowly going insane. (And yes I am aware of the irony of having my dreams crushed on April Fools day. Fuck you).
I am biting the bullet again. I’m starting this blog.
I’m starting a journey to escape this job to become what I’ve always wanted to be – a writer. As part of my experience I’m going to document my life right here on this site. A digital fuck-you to those bureaucrats running the merry shit-show that is the misnamed ‘government intelligence’.
It’s going to be good writing practice, it’s going to be cathartic, and it’s going to sure as hell be a whole lot of fun.
Stick around. I’m going to tell some great stories.