I’d arrived in a foreign country, traveling as part of a group of men, except for one pre-pubescent boy. We were white, except for one black. I was neither leader nor follower. We dressed down a little, in jeans or khakis, and shirts or sweaters, as American tourists. We were going through a large gift shop and museum, killing time, stalling, building our cover. Every now and again as we walked around, I’d look out the large plate glass windows at a flat, featureless landscape under a flat diluted gray sky. Small features, hints of tall buildings and industrial smokestacks, hinted at the world. A few lonely black birds winged through the sky.
Inside, we walked around, gawking like tourists, murmuring at displays of giant stuffed brown bears, cut geodes, and pieces of fossils, evidence of the life that was here before humans took over and dominated. I remember bending down to the young boy to point out a display about a volcano that once erupted in the region.
Then, time for us to move on. We separated. I got into a rental car and drove down a wide, empty road, again killing time until we were to rendezvous. At this point, it becomes a little obscure. I drove across a large, arched bridge to an intersection and parked off to one side by a food truck. I went to the blue food truck where I purchased two chicken sandwiches in flat bread from a swarthy, friendly man. Ice covered the chicken on the sandwich. I met with a small, blond woman and furtively explained to her my theory that the sandwiches being sold at the truck were being used to pass code between foreign agents.
I returned to my car to await the rendezvous, holding onto the sandwiches as my evidence. But I was hungry, so I heated one up on the car’s heater. After tasting it, I thought it was warm enough and was pretty good, so I ate one, and then, as I was still hungry, heated up and began heating the second one. But then I realized that I needed to hold onto it as evidence, so I stopped after two bites. Examining that sandwich, I concluded that I still have the evidence.