July 25, 2014 by vinylburns
The summers were long and hot, and the coffee was weak and grey, but we kind of dug that then.
These days, it’s cooler… icy, in fact. A chill in the air and a fog on my breath. Each sigh, visual and expansive, billowing across the pages on my desk.
I was once, a gentleman of the Central Intelligence Bureau.
They don’t like me to talk about it too much, but then again, they don’t like a lot of things…
[hear me read this with my mouth by subscribing here: Jesus It’s Early podcast (episode 28) ]
That’s not to say I don’t completely respect the organisation and feel a strong sense of patriotism every time there’s an explosion somewhere, but it is sometimes hard to reconcile the darker arts of counter espionage, when you’re the one in the dark, and it’s your art that’s on fire.
I mix a lot of metaphor – and that’s sometimes a little strong for a casual drinker.
I stumbled upon an old journal I used to keep when I was a young intern, climbing the secret ladders up the firewalls of inquisitive intelligence. I was tightly wound then. A hot scalding corkscrew, twisting in a cold war twist top of champaign freedom… it was going to be messy if I ever got any weight behind me.
But, it’s a flabby lumbering beast, the CIA. Overstretched, and panicked… gorged on the endless buffet of speculative data and rock solid rumour… bloated and gloating with it’s lust for power and perspective… They see the forest, but it’s all wood pulp and Ikea tables. Useless.
My journal had always been, ironically, “Off Book”.
“Off Book” is CIA code for something that’s very important, and needs to be written down, but that is so evil, that nobody ever wants to be pinned to it. So they write it down, and post it to a guy in Sweden. He keeps it safe. Then, when the time comes, he burns it and sends the ashes to The Guardian newspaper and they do what they do. Mostly, journalism.
It’s a long, exotic, and ultimately detectable trail, but there’s nothing at the end of the path, but a burning cabin and a couple of boy scouts sipping Starbucks Fanta and reading 1978 Playboys.
So, in hindsight, I don’t quite know how I was allowed to keep mine. I opened it an hour ago and read a few pages. It made me shiver , and I had to have a lie down.
Might be time to light the fire.