Saturday, March 4, 2006
Scalzi's Useless Assignment
Weekend Assignment #101: Name a talent that you don't have that you wish you did. This can also include talents you have a little bit of, but wish you had more.
I have some ESP. I want more. I want the kind that the woman on MEDIUM has. Only without the weird dead people at the foot of the bed. And I can do without all the scary dreams. On the other hand, I would like to be able to hold something that belonged to someone and sense things about them like the Psychic Detectives on A&E. The ones that look like normal people, not retired strippers.
With more ESP think how much time and money I could save not having to call information for phone numbers. And I would know for sure if someone thought my butt looked fat.
Right now my ESP experiences have come to me as sudden visuals or more often, thoughts. I seem to be a receiver with no control over when the transmission is coming through.
I was once introduced to a new marketing guy at the ad agency where I worked. He shook my hand, said hello, then said his name. Before I could stop myself I was saying, "That's not your name, it's Roger Spenser." The look on his face was stunning for its surprise. What was interesting is that he didn't deny anything.
I apologized by saying I didn't know why I blurted that out. Ooops sorry about that. He did some of his own shucking and jiving and the other people standing there just laughed it off as me being weird.
Then I had to meet with him about an assigment and it became very clear that he didn't know marketing from plumbing. He also seemed very military to me. Too clean and neat. His shirts were heavily starched and always white. He constantly wore a tie on in an environment that encouraged casualness. WTF? Within three months he was transferred to the Frankfurt office. In all the years I worked for that agency no one ever got a transfer to another office. It never happened. Ever. Let alone after such a short time. I knew people who had tried for years.
Then I found out his father was head of covert operations for the CIA in Rome. I had heard that some international law firms had provided cover for operatives. So I just figured he was some guy who needed a cover and we provided it for him. Maybe his name really was Roger Spenser after all.
One of my most vivid visual experiences was a couple of months after breaking up with a boyfriend. I saw him in a motorcycle accident. Not in person or on TV. In my head. As I was watching the flash of pictures in my mind's eye, I told my girlfriend that she was my witness to what I was seeing.
I had no way of confirming the accident because we were out of touch, plus I knew he had moved. Months later I was in focus groups in a distant suburb and I suddenly had a sense of the town where he was now living. I actually saw the apartment complex and the exit off the highway to get to it. I called information and got his number.
He invited me over. When I drove there I discovered that he lived in the place I had seen in my mind. As I told him the story about seeing him in a motorcycle accident, he left the room and came back with a pair of scuffed up boots and dirty chinos. He was wearing them when the accident happened. And I had really seen it all take place in my head.
Extra credit: Do you have any completely useless talents?
Haaaa. My bad ESP talents are pretty useless. Especially when I get a powerful sudden thought about someone I'm not in touch with regularly. I assume it's because they're thinking about me. More often than not they will call that day. Sometimes within minutes. In life's big picture, that's pretty useless.