I have no secret hiding places. My sacred space evaporated with the morning dew. Actually, faster than the morning dew. Alone time? What is it? I feel like a third-rate character in a B movie. Okay, I write the script, but I’ve lost control. How can I lose control to the script I’m writing, you ask? You’re asking the wrong writer. Somewhere, who knows how many blogs ago, I took a right turn, or was it a left turn, maybe I kept walking straight ahead, it’s all a blur. I entered the world of alt egos.
I’m not the first one to have this experience. The cult television show, The Prisoner, from the sixties and more recently, The Truman Show present the similar dilemmas. Those were movies. This is a real life situation and 911 won’t listen to me. I’ll stop here, I hear her.
“What’s up, Ray? You look lost in thought?” said La Flor, taking a seat at the patio table. Of course, she took my coffee cup, help it up to me for a warm up. She wrapped both hands around it and smiled at me.
“Where’s Little Carmen?” I asked. I said a silent prayer the mob kidnapped him. I didn’t much care which mob.
“I sent him outside. I needed a break, you know some quiet time. He’s probably sitting on the front steps wondering when I’ll let him in,” she said.
I wondered if Little Carmen chased squirrel’s, or cars, yelled at postmen, growled at anyone walking down the street. Do I need a sign in the front yard, BEWARE OF LITTLE CARMEN for insurance purposes?
“Whatcha thinking about, Ray?”
“Oh, nothing. Nothing at all,” I answered.
“You’re thinking of something. I know you’re thinking something. I’ll figure it out sooner or later. Enough of you. It’s me time,” said La Flor.
How do you respond to that kind of comment? I thought of two or three responses and they’d all turn out bad. I had a strong desire to grab the coffee pot and drink directly from it. Mental note, bring two cups. Make it three in case Little Carmen shows up.
La Flor broke the silence, “I’ve decided to become a two-career woman.” She held up her hand, policeman style, forbidding me to speak. Then she continued. “I am beautiful, tough, and edgy. I’m keeping my PI shtick.”
“It certainly is a shtick,” I said.
“Thank you, Ray. I’ve decided to be a food critic. You know the phantom dinner. LC will travel with me. He knows food and can give me pointers.”
“Do you mean Phantom Dinner or Phantom Diner?” I asked.
She shook her head, “You’re not listening, Ray. Your head is not in the game. You’ve got a big part in this.”
That got my attention. I turned my chair to directly face La Flor. I kept repeating to myself, ‘Ray, listen. Don’t agree to anything. Think it over.’ The problem for me was I had a lot to remember and repeat it while I am trying to listen to La Flor.
She continued, “Since we’re just starting out, we need a driver, someone to pay for our meals until a syndicate picks us up, or the Food Channel. And, someone to work with LC with the menus. That’s where you come in.”
“That’s a lot of work.”
“It’ll be fun hanging out with LC and me.”
“I’m going to call LC in and tell him the good news. Do you have anything good to eat?”
“Everything I have is good to eat.”
“I mean a cookie, candy bar, you know what I mean.”
“No, but I have dates, raisins, and blueberries,” I said.
“Who are you dating? I didn’t know. How long have you been dating? What does she look like? Do I know her? Tell me everything,” said La Flor bending toward me.
Do I tell her I’m dating a dried fruit? How will that sound?
“Come on, Ray, give it up,” La Flor insisted.
I owe Little Carmen one, from outside the front door, he interrupted, “Beautiful, tough, and edgy PI, I misses use. Can I come in?”
“Isn’t he the sweetest, Ray? Where are the raisins? He needs something for being good.”
“You sure you didn’t send him to obedience school?”
Tomorrow the Phantom Diner may be at your favorite restaurant.
Change happens. It’s a part of life. If we don’t want to change, life’s circumstances often tell us we have to change. La Flor switching careers is a change. Will it work out? Who knows? At least La Flor had the courage to try something different. I like her attitude.
* La Flor is a fictional character and acts as my alt ego. Her character has evolved over the blog posts. She began with a single letter as her name. Her name gradually grew to two letters, then three before she settled on La Flor. She liked the name because it fit her idea of a beautiful, tough, and edgy feminine PI. It is my interaction with her persona that serves as the source of these blog posts. I have no notion how La Flor will continue to evolve. It is an adventure for me as well as the reader.