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.

You thought you wanted to know

So far this evening, you’ve had an orange, chocolate sprinkled nonpareils, and you just finished watching an episode of NCIS. You even looked up the best keyboard case for an Ipad mini 4. An important question–Do you even own an Ipad mini 4? No, you do not. But, you learned the best keyboard case is from logitech.

Why all the procrastination?

You do not know how to write about devastation. You only know how it feels, but you cannot tell anyone what it is.

This devastation cannot be named, described, nor can it be identified. You only know that some people from your past make you want to run, and hide and disappear. But, you do not now why. All you know is how you feel.

There’s also a devastation in seeing friends from high school on Facebook, and knowing you were friends with them, but you do not know why or how you became friends. You only know you were friends because when you see their name you smile, and feel warm inside. You finally admit all this to one particular friend you feel most at ease with. She is supportive, and proceeds to tell you how the two of you became friends. It was in Honors English in high school, and you both shared a love of books and writing. She tells you stories about your senior Honors English teacher, and how you asked her to suggest additional books to you, and that you were the best writer in class.

You knock your memory bank around in your head trying to find the story she’s telling you, a story that you lived. But, it’s not there. No matter how hard you close your eyes, concentrate, and try to find the memories of knowing this friend, alas, the memories are not there. You thought this would be a happy thing, hearing about your friendship with this person. But, it brings a sadness you do not expect.

You always wanted someone to accept you as you are, have the ability to hear about you as you. But your heart cannot hear about happy stories you lived that you cannot recall. You thought this was a good idea, but instead it’s your own secret devastation.

Today’s post is written in response to Today’s Daily Prompt.

The Kitchen

I ate the entire box of pierogies.

That’s not how it was supposed to happen, but then isn’t that what we would say about us?

Since our parting on Saturday I’ve just flitted in and out of the kitchen. I can’t linger there too long because you’re everywhere in that space … the two kinds of cocoa, the velcro cake pan straps, the cast iron lodge pan, the cleaned out pantry …

Here I sit listening to the Dixie Chicks “Hello Mr. Heartache” while I polish off the pierogies with the damn cherry lemon seltzers you convinced me to buy. I did not want to buy them. I insisted that lime goes with cherry, not lemon. Besides, I didn’t want to carry a case of them all the way to my 3rd floor apartment. You were convinced that lemon did go with cherry, they were on sale with a coupon on top of that, and you offered to carry the case into my apartment. And now it’s my favorite drink. I never did tell you that you were right. Lemon does go with cherry. It was a good buy, and thank you for carrying the case into my apartment. There are only two cans of cherry lemon seltzer remaining. I keep telling myself to stop drinking them, make them last. But I drink them anyway. I like them, and I like remembering the first time I drank it. You gave me the first sip from your can, and I looked at you after I drank it and said, “Oh my god, that’s good! Wow. New favorite drink!” I raised the drink in the air, and you did that thing with your eyebrows when you’re right about something. You move them up and down. You’re all proud of yourself that you were right, and I’m going ape shit over a new favorite drink. Couple of weirdos if you ask me.

The pierogies were meant for two people. We would usually saute some onions and put sour cream on top. I dispensed with all that, and just ate them plain over an entire evening tonight. The pierogies have mashed potatoes in them, and I found myself recalling you there in my kitchen making mashed potato casserole for thanksgiving. I see you there making that crazy fatty dijon mustard, half and half concoction that went into the mashed potato casserole. It was strangely good. You were all mashed potato casserole, and you hit that one out of the park.

I’m eating out tomorrow night.