The Black Car

I have found my own modern day hermit’s cave, which I call The Black Car. I work, only because I must. And on days when I have to bring the magic in my job I have one of my parts do the heavy lifting. I’ve stopped answering most text messages and phone calls. There are a small few people whom I will reply to or answer calls, but its often painful for me to do so, and I’m usually itching to cease the communication.

Last month I had memories start to come forth, though only slivers of clues that beg further questions. Though enough has come forth that I am constantly stupefied by memories that pour out of my brain at moments when I need my full concentration, usually at work.

I tried explaining to one friend in particular this afternoon why I had been isolating and strugggling. When I told him I had been struggling with memories he just looked at me, and said nothing. And then after an uncomfortable silence he changed the subject altogether. I felt silly sitting there in that sushi restaurant with too many sushi rolls between us, and the cloud of discomfort in the air. The interaction confirmed my instincts for staying hidden away from most people to the extent possible.

I walk around only seeing what is directly in front of me.  An old friend saw me in the tea shop yesterday, and she had to wave me down and say my name loudly to get my attention. I honestly did not see her sitting in close vicinity of me.

I have days where I can fake it very well, when my dear Sabrina can fully come out at work and bring the magic. And then at the end of the day The Black Car is waiting again, and Sabrina has left when she senses that she is no longer needed for work.

The Black Car is a dependable old girl, and she’s always there patiently waiting for the next ride.

Dear Boss, I’m glad you missed all of that

Dear Boss,

Today was a crazy banana day. You had some dorky assignment with an expected quick turnaround from the big dogs, and I had to go track down silly attorney dude who keeps bankers hours. We had an employee emergency for which I needed his involvement, and Sabrina emailed him, called him, and sent him a meeting request. Sabrina joked aloud that she was going to go sit in his office chair to wait for him. You heard that, and I could tell you weren’t sure if it was a joke. I told you not to worry, we weren’t going to do that. You smiled, and I could tell that you still weren’t sure if it was a joke, but you were glad for the confirmation that we weren’t going to do that.

Our director ordered pizza for the office as a morale booster because it was a crazy day for many of us. Well, here’s a secret I wish I could share with you. Letty loves pizza. There is no describing her love for this dish, except that it’s exuberant and ecstatic. When we were young our mother often fed us three girls one small frozen pizza among the three of us that we had to share as there was no other food. Back then, in order to deal with the hunger, Letty would imagine endless amounts of pizza. She would imagine that she had all the pizza she needed in order to curb her hunger pains.

The director asked us to email Sally to let her know what kind of pizza we wanted, and how many slices we expected to eat. Later, I walk by Sally, and she bursts out laughing, “I loved your email, girl! Cracked me up!” Stunned and confused, I went back to my computer, opened up my sent file to read my email to Sally, “Cheese/pepperoni please and 4 slices for me to be honest :)” I didn’t know whether to laugh or be embarrassed. Apparently, Letty ordered 4 slices of pizza. But, then I hear the pizza has arrived, and Letty has come to the forefront again. We go to the conference room, and see two huge boxes of pizza, and no people. Letty asks me why we can’t just go in and eat. I say to her that it would be rude to start without everyone. Nell then walks by my office, and says, “Found plates, time for pizza!” I then hear Letty’s voice come out of me yelping, “Ya! Pizza!” Lucky for me, Nell thought it was funny, and yelped back, “Pizza!” It didn’t seem to register to Nell that a little girl voice made that sound.

We eat our pizza, and, yes, all four pieces of pizza were consumed by us -2 cheese, and 2 pepperoni. After lunch, I am back in my office when Marge, our clerk, walks by at the exact same time that Letty raises her arms in the air, and exclaims, “Pizza!” Thankfully, Marge just responded back by saying, “Pizza!”

You and the director were busy, and missed all the Letty Pizza Excitement. You’re more observant than the others, and I think you would have noticed the exuberance, especially since the me you know is not exuberant. You don’t miss a thing, and as much as I like you, I would rather you not know this side of me. I believe if you saw the Letty side of me you would likely start to figure things out. You’re the best boss I’ve ever had, but you cannot know I have dissociative identity disorder.

Dear Boss, today was different.

I’m just as confused as you are. I know you’re dying to ask how one day I can be the gal with the haunted vacant look, moving robotically in the office, steadily working, but trying to stay hidden from the world. And then, the very next day, I can interrogate someone for an hour and a half, and get a couple of admissions in the process. Trust me, I’m never sure if the magic will show up when I need it. The magic in this case was Sabrina. She’s the calm, cool, collected interrogator that looks like a sweet librarian with her cardigan and pulled up hair, but make no mistake, she is waiting for the target to slip up with his words.

Me? Hell, Sabrina got me into this profession. If it was up to me I would have been a writer in a cave somewhere far away from the populace. Sabrina is handy because she can bring the intensity that’s necessary for this job. She can write, analyze and look for patterns. Oh, yes, and she can argue. But, she’s no diplomat. You would never want to send her to the U.N. That’s where we get into trouble, along with the fact that she has a temper.

I listened to the audio file of the interrogation after it was over, and it still stuns me to not quite recognize myself when I hear my voice. It’s my voice, and it isn’t. It has a self-confidence I do not normally possess. It excites me and terrifies me to hear such quick thinking, yet have little recollection of it.

Unfortunately, once the interesting part of the job is over for the day, Sabrina disappears as well. I wish that weren’t the case, but I don’t seem to have control over that at the moment. I’m left with a moving carousel of parts, which is why you see confusing and differing parts of me. You see uber confident Sabrina during interrogations; vacant, depressed Belle when triggered; at lunch time, Letty jonesing for a sandwich if we’re running late to eat; and me when there’s a heavy writing assignment that allows me to close the door to my office.

I’m sitting in your office chatting with you when one of the gals pops her head in and says that the number 2 guy in the agency wants to speak with me on the phone. Usually, it is not good news to get a phone call from this guy, especially at my level. I’m not exactly one of the big dogs. You and I exchange terrified looks, and we head to my office together. I answer the phone with my heart in my throat, and I hear, “Beatriz, what did you do? The interrogation must have gone well! Did you Perry Mason him? This is great! Good job! He’s spinning out. You must have really hit a nerve.” I couldn’t find my words for a bit, likely because it wasn’t Sabrina on the phone with him. I looked over at you, and smiled. You could tell that it was okay.