I’ve mentioned this before but I have a super power. I can move in utter silence unless I start thinking about it. As long as I’m not trying to be silent, I am. The second that I try, I sound like a herd of buffalo. This means my super power is not only effectively useless, but is an actual nuisance.
How did I discover my power? Screams, mostly. Many of my days are punctuated by startled shrieks and exclamations from people who just realized I was standing there looking at them. If I head over to someone’s desk to ask a question or review something, I’m typically greeted with “Oh my God you scared me!”
I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve found people looking at … uh, let’s just say sensitive materials while at work. (Which never ceases to be weird because holy shit, doesn’t everyone know that your IT administrator can review your browser history by now? I mean, ask a couple of them for their stories and settle in.)
Shopping is punctuated with constant squawks from other patrons, because I’m focused on getting what I need and thus not thinking about making noise. So I move through retail establishments like a ghost, generating screams whenever people realize I’m standing right behind them.
It carries over to the checkout register. I’ll materialize there, stand for a few seconds while the employee is folding shirts or wiping down the counter, and then I have to cough or rustle or make some other noise, and wait for the inevitable screech before I can pay. It happened to me yesterday at the grocery store. I’ve gotten to the point now that I steel myself for the inevitable yelp when I realize that I’ve done it again.
I’m no one-trick pony, though. I’ve got other super powers:
- I remember the lyrics to every song I’ve ever heard.
- I can infallibly point directly to where I left my car. My parents used this a lot when hunting for our car after a day at Disney World. I felt kind of like an English setter. “Bryan … point!”
- I get places fast by car. It’s not speeding or anything. Though I don’t drive slowly, I rarely go more than 10 MPH over the limit. It’s just that somehow I shave time off the trip. Again, my parents used to rely on this for family road trips after I turned 16. “Let the boy drive. He gets us there the fastest.”
- I can tell the color of a cat by smell. I’m really allergic to them, so this doesn’t get used often. Or at all, because when are you ever in a dark room with a cat? But different colors of cats have different smells.
So tell me. What’s your secret super power? Do you always find great parking spaces? Can you pack a week’s worth of clothes into an overnight bag? Can you tell which cantaloupe is ripe without touching it? Let’s see what you got.