When you've worked for the FBI, you come to accept that people sometimes expect you to possess powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Sometimes I expected it myself, at least in hindsight. But among friends I've heard, more than once, "I still can't believe you were an FBI Agent." Well, that makes two of us.
Part of the problem stems from being, at my core, naturally trusting of others while doubting my own skills. The trusting part might come as a shock to some that know me but it's true and probably genetic. My father, who prided himself on his business sense, was nonetheless the most easily cheated person I've ever known. Most of the cars he ever bought, mainly from people he knew, were astonishing lemons yet I never heard him express hostility toward any of the sellers. It never even occurred to him that he might have been had. My mother was even more naive. I think they both had the attitude that everybody thought and acted as they did. They wouldn't think of taking advantage of anyone, least of all someone they knew, and neither would anyone else. I've learned otherwise, the hard way, but it hasn't caused the complete suppression of my natural inclinations and there have been occasional lapses of vigilance. I mention all this as a means of defending myself, in my own mind at least, for being robbed by a couple of goddamned street thieves in Barcelona.