the blind misleading the blind
It was almost inevitable that they would meet.
Who is the good guy and who is the bad guy is irrelevant for the purposes of this story. You could make an argument that everything is irrelevant when it comes to this story, but that is an argument for another day. For today finds one of the world’s most notorious spies strapped to a table while one of the world’s most notorious practitioners of enhanced interrogation techniques is setting up shop nearby.
The reason that their meeting was inevitable, outside of the fact that they both lead clandestine lives in the service of shadowy figures, you ask?
They are both blind.
Not sight-impaired or suffering from decreased vision like so many ‘blind’ people are today. Wait long enough outside of a mall and you’ll see a ‘blind’ person pull into the handicap space without the smallest hint of shame. They might even pull out a walking stick or, much more fashionable these days, a dog. Not an official guide dog, just an animal they can watch take a shit out front and then be too blind to pick up after.
Not these two. Both of them were born blind as a bat at birth and haven’t seen a thing since.
Rather heroic that they both ended up leading such extraordinary lives if you think about it. Unfortunately for one of them their paths lead here.
The blind interrogator believes that the most impactful part of any interrogation is when the recipient of said interrogation gets his or her first look at the tools of the trade. He can almost feel the blood draining out of their face as he starts to unroll his kit. It’s all he can do not to smile as he hears their breath get ragged.
Typically he prefers to work alone but because his client is blind he has asked an associate to join him and give a little play-by-play.
In retrospect, probably not a great idea. There’s only so much terror you can instill with comments like “Wow, that a lot pliers” or “That knife sure looks sharp.” After an awkward silence his assistant excuses himself.
The client, like so many secret agents do, just smirks and says “Do your worst.” Which sort of offends the interrogator as it implies that he’s not going to do his best. He has a reputation to uphold after all.
So he does his best.
Fingernails are pulled out, electric shocks are applied to the genitals, yada yada yada, the usual medieval stuff, and yet the prisoner will not disclose the whereabouts of a particular briefcase. A briefcase which holds something that the interrogator’s employer has more than a passing interest in.
It’s beginning to annoy the interrogator. He has plans for the evening and the blind spy is threatening to inconvenience him.
He decides to take a break and go out for a smoke. As he leaves the room he does what has become second nature to him; he flips off the light switch. Somewhat dramatically at that. While it makes no difference to him, he’s been told that plunging a room into darkness can have quite an unnerving effect on someone who is in the middle of a particularly bad day. He forgets momentarily that the subject of his interrogation is also blind.
“What was that?” he hears the captive say.
“Just going out for a smoke. Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon and we can continue our chat.”
“Do me a favor?” the interrogator hears the man say. He responds with a leisurely “Hmmmmm?”
“Can you leave the light on?”
The interrogator replies with a simple “No can do.”
“Please?” the man asks.
“The briefcase… is in a storage locker at the South Station bus terminal.”
“Well who would have guessed that one?” the interrogator thinks to himself and then flips the switch back. He wasn’t a monster after all.
He continues out for his smoke. As he walks he thinks about how strange life can be. A blind man afraid of being in the dark. Who would have seen that one? The cherry on top was that his assistant had already turned off the lights on his way out. When the interrogator flipped the switch the first time he was actually turning the lights back on. He only turned them off after the captive man plead with him to do so.
He finds his pack of cigarettes, extricates one and lights it. After a long draw he leans back against the wall and smiles.
“Just when you think you’ve haven’t seen everything.”