Let me just start by saying that I hate cold. I really, really hate cold. I'm practically allergic to it, because whenever I go out in the cold, my eyes start tearing up uncontrollably. I'm just really not a cold person. Therefore, whenever it's cold outside, I'm pretty much always wearing my fur hat. And it just happened to happen that I was lucky enough to find something fluffy and cozy like a carpet coat as well. Now imagine me, furry hat, furry coat, totally furry, walking around. That's the image you need first.
Dressed like that, in a furry hat and furry coat, I went out with my friends for drinks in the evening. One of them started making fun of me: ''You look like Russian mobster.'' Fine, if you think so. But the joke continued all night long, he just repeating it over and over and over again at every given occasion. When I accidentally broke electronic candle on our table and didn't swap it around in time for anyone not to notice: "You're slow for someone trained with those skills." When the other friend had enough to drink and asked if I want to finish her cocktail: "Of course she can, Russian mobsters are very used to drinking." And I just found it stupid enough that I decided to play along, so every time he said to me ''You're a Russian mobster'' kind of thing, I was replying with something that fit very well, basically something disturbing.
When we were walking home, the girl said she's coming back in a few months to go see the play, and asked the guy if he wants to go with her. Without thinking too much I interfered and said: "That's a long time, you could be dead by then already". But I wasn't so straight forward, I'm not really sure how I formed the sentence and I definitely didn't mean anything personal. I was more applying it to myself, as in having no idea what's going to happen with my life till then. But the guy took it very personally and he felt like I was treating him with life.
Once we got back to the hostel where we all were staying, I started talking with some random people, about random things that people are talking about. When my friend walked by and said: "Don't talk with her, she kills people for money!" People of course found it silly and didn't pay much attention to it, except one girl who specifically asked "That's so coll! Can I borrow your weapon, because I'd really like to get rid of some people that are annoying me." And I said: "Yeah sure!" It was just a really stupid joke.
Afterward I went away for a few days, and apparently the guy who made up this joke told it to everybody. When I returned to the hostel, while I was randomly washing dishes, minding my own business, somebody looked around, saw that I'm alone, came to me and whispered: "Hey, I've heard you're a special agent." And I replied with "Yeah, I am." He asked: "So, where are you hiding your weapon? Under the pillow?" I told him how I have no firearms with me at the moment, but that our hostel offers a very nice selection of knives. Which was true, since there was a full jar of them, ranging from small to pretty big ones. I also explained how I was trained to take care of the basics with my bare hands, and therefore I don't need to keep one under my pillow. We actually had a really stupid conversation, but it was funny, so I played along.
And then, later that evening, I was assigned to help in the bar. I was sitting in a dark corner, writing down the new cocktail menu, when the bartender decided to go for a smoke. It pretty much looked that the bar is now abandoned, and while he was leaving some people sitting there shouted after him: "Hey, so you're living the bar alone, can we just take whatever we want now?" The bartender stopped and said: "No, she's there" and pointed at me in the dark corner. They turned around, look at me and then replied: "OK, we won't take anything because we heard she's in mafia." I certainly got some great reputation.
Few days passed again, some girl from the hostel was having a birthday and we went to a club to party. When we were out for a smoke, one of the guys who was among the people in the bar hinting I was in mafia, came to me. He asked what I was doing that day, but in a way that was definitely implying to my mafia job. Again, I decided to serve him what he asked for.
It just happened to happen that earlier I went out with my friend, who kept talking about some exotic fruit called custard apple and that day we finally bought it. He told me to never ever ever by any chance eat its seeds, because they would give me a Parkinson's disease. The seeds looked like little dark beans, so crazy and twisted as I am I started suggesting to my friend, "You could actually cook these among other beans and people would never know." We ended up having almost 30 minutes conversation about the seeds that can cause a Parkinson's disease, wondering if you cook them, boil them, or dry the seeds and then grind them into dust to use in foods, would the effect still be the same. Because one good thing about this Parkinson's disease is that you could slowly poison the person you hate and nobody would ever be able to track it back to you.
And when the guy at the party asked me what I was doing around my mafia job, I just simply told him that I didn't have any specific task today but that doesn't mean I'm not active in the field. As a side project I'm working with the poisons and since we're living in 21st century when everything is supposed to be biological, organic and eco friendly, I told him that we're not developing these new poisons based on the chemicals, but rather try to find natural biological ingredients that can do just as much harm.
I went on and told him the whole story about the beans which was technically all true, I just managed to get it told in a very disturbing way. We had a little longer chit chat based on my mafia background and a really fun evening.
But this was certainly not the end to my poison career. I'm one of those people who don't particularly dislike cooking but wouldn't make it worth your while either. I especially like experimenting, hoping for the best but so many times creating the worst.
Since I moved to hostel my first broadly failed attempt was baking cookies for all my friends. I went home for few days and decided to surprise them all once I return. The idea was pretty amazing, I enriched the dough with 3 sorts of chocolates, white, milk and dark one, colourful tiny marshmallows and different nuts. It was so pretty to look at, with green pistachios and pinky puffs. Didn't taste bad either, but once it was baked, it lost all its charm. Cookies turned out very hard and completely tasteless, more like some strange vegan supplement you encounter sometime, rather than this delicious idea. Anyway, after first extensively forcing them on our maid who came around that day, I packed them in probably 5 boxes altogether and took them to my friends. We had this big table in hostel's dining room, and I remember all of us sitting around, looking at each other, munching on those cookies in silence. Eventually one of my more honest and truth loving friends finally went on and said: "I love you, but I really don't like your cookies." The girl sitting opposite from me also silently joined: "I don't like the cookies either." I looked around at everybody and be like: "Well, I don't like them either." The mood instantly cheered up as people were relieved they don't need to pretend out of politeness anymore and started knocking with the hard, burnt dough on the table.
At later occasion I decided to prepare myself a meal out of different ingredients people left behind upon their departure. I found some potatoes, tuna, eggs, chorizo, ketchup and lot of spices, and decided to mix them all in a big pan without any significant logic or order. Not to mention the pan was also pretty old and overused, resulting in everything to stick to the bottom and properly burn.
My friend who created my mafia background just happened to come by, and after making him try my cookies before, I somehow also managed to convince him to try my cooking. You can imagine it was absolutely terrible and led him to conclusion that no one could ever poison me, since I got immune from eating my own meals. I didn't want to spare him either and went on explaining how this way I can incomponent any sort of poison in my food without people noticing, since it tastes bad enough already.
On the fair note, my friend got really concerned for my general well being and kept getting me or making me edible food pretty much till the day I left.
Towards the end of my stay I was again working at the hostel bar while other stuff was doing inventory check, meaning I was left there for a while, alone and bored. Friend from the party showed up and we just had a really normal human conversation, about what we were studying, what we'd like to do in our lives. When out of a sudden he asks me: "How did you end up with this job?" Since we were having a normal conversation I thought he was talking about my work at the hostel, work at the bar, or some media stuff that I was seen doing on my computer. So I asked: "Which job do you mean?"
"Well, the mafia job."
I just told him to go ask my friend who made the whole thing up. To which he replied: "Are you two in this together?"
I was like "No, but he just seems to know more about it then I do." which made him very much confused. And also made me very much confused, because he just didn't seem to get that the whole thing was just a bloody joke. While I absolutely couldn't understand he's serious about it and actually believes it. And we were like "Wait, what...?" I mean, how could you ever believe something like this?
The guy from the party explained to me that it is of course a really twisted story, but because every time he asked me something about it, I was just so serious and able to explain everything in such a detailed and extensive way he just had to believe it. It definitely didn't make me look like I'm just making it all up. So many times he saw me sitting in the corner just looking and observing others, creeping around. And also, he actually heard the story from the bartender.
We had a good laugh over it, but it made me wonder how many other people living in a hostel knowing the story actually believed it is true as well. For example, did the one who asked me "Are you a secret agent, where do you have your weapon?" meant it as well.
It made me wonder like what kind of monster I appear to other people, what kind of vibe I send to them, and also what kind of power I have over their minds. And of course, it makes you wonder how much of this is actually true and how much of it I just made up to cover up the traces and make myself appear innocent.
London, January 2017