Walking Tall
Bev Vines-Haines
Hayward Fault Line Winner

The secret of power, I have discovered, is confidence.  Confidence, never to be confused with bullshit (and yet constructed from the foundations up with bullshit) is superior to experience, education, knowledge and talent.             

When I got out of the military several years ago, I made a stop in Shanghai and stayed twenty years. 

Back then, the army didn’t hand out PhDs and college diplomas.  They gave me three square a day, the skills to kill if I needed to and a rash of ready confidence. 

Started like this.  “Private, can you wire a tank?”

“Sir, yes, sir,” “Private, do you have skills in procurement?”

“Sir, yes, sir.”

By the time I left, I could wire anything with wheels and I was a master procurer. 

When I hit Shanghai, confidence would ooze out of me.

Those years formulated the man I am today.  If I needed anything I talked my way into having it.  Blonde hair, round eyes and an American accent got me through most doors but it was confidence that let me stay.

I guess some would call it stealing.  Others might say black market.  I say it was survival, ingenuity and creativity.  By the time I left I’d become a corporate facilitator.  However, as often happens, I wasn’t able to capitalize on my experience.  Got escorted home by some high ranking government official and handed over to the FBI in exchange for a tasty little Chinese dish with an extra dose of confidence.


First published:May, 2009
comments to the writer: doorknobsandbodypaint@gmail.com