My breakfast is now ready for me to sit down and savour it. There is a glass of freshly squeezed yellow orange juice, two pieces of generously buttered toast, a plump bunch of green grapes and a mug of steaming black coffee. This is my breakfast time, my writing time, my favorite time.
Two fingers and a thumb pinch my pen delicately at its inky extremity. The fingery threesome make tiny movements up and down, forward and back, across the page like sea-gull tracks along the beach. Little by little, line by line, the white page turns into a stream of rippling words written in black. … um… uh… wait… What? Where am I?
What happened? I’m still in my kitchen but it has somehow turned into a police station and I am sitting on a bench outside of the ‘lost forever’ department. How long have I been here? I realize something is being mashed between my teeth. I wonder what it is and how it got there. Then I notice I’m holding a half piece of toast in my left hand but I have no recollection of ever biting into it. Brain quickly tries to put together the pieces of my puzzlement. Must be breakfast time. My coffee is almost all gone but I have no memory of it going down. Brain checks, but throat confirms, ‘Nope, nothing got passed me.’ (‘I think I’d have noticed,’ he adds smugly.)
Head bowed, shoulders slumped, a pair of shiny black shoes walk into my view of the floor. I look up. A police inspector, with a small pad in one hand, a pencil in the other, is standing in front of me. He’s here to get the facts of my case.
‘When did you see your orange juice for the last time?’
‘Well, un, I remember I was writing, focused on a thread of ink weaving into the lines of the page. And there was this bird chirping outside. I remember taking a sip of my orange juice. At first it tasted fruity and fresh… and then I just don’t know. I kind of lost it.’
‘Was that the last time you had any contact with the juice?’
‘Yes, sir.’ I say, staring at the bottom of my glass wondering where it all went.
‘What about your coffee?’
‘Same thing,’ I say stonily, still stunned.
“I see here what looks like twigs’, he says flicking them over with his pencil tip.
‘Grapes…, I mean, well, there used to be grapes on them. Officer, why am I here? What happened? I’m so confused.’
He looks at me solemnly. I can tell he knows his business. I stare down at my slippered feet ready to hear the worst. ‘All evidence concurs. You were headjacked. I’m sorry.’ When he sees I still don’t get it he adds, ‘This is commonly known as being lost in thought.’ The horror of his explanation slowly begins to sink in. I look at the drab, dreary remains of my dead breakfast on the table. I feel violated, victim of my mind’s hostile takeover.
‘Just out of curiosity, do you have any recollection of where you were taken?’
‘I don’t know,’ I say, shaking my head in disbelief, desperately trying to capture the dim details before they dissipate like a night dream in morning’s light. ‘There were lots of voices. Loud and vindictive, shrill and judgmental, bitter and bossy. They were shouting and screaming, weeping and wailing all at the same time. It was dark and chaotic… and really noisy.’
‘Scary place, isn’t it?’ he says knowingly. ‘Everything seems so real and yet… If it isn’t too painful, can you recall what the voices said to you?’
‘That’s the worst part,’ I said, feeling so ashamed. ‘Nothing. At first I thought they’d forgotten I was there. Then I thought they were purposely ignoring me. But the truth is, there in that place which is not a place, I was a no body.’
The police inspector nods his head understandingly. ‘This won’t bring back your grapes, but it may be of comfort to know I see this kind of thing everyday. In a way you were lucky. You lost a meal but some lose entire days and others lose even more.’
I put on a brave smile to thank him for kindness. But the cold facts are that I was headjacked. My beautiful breakfast is gone for good and I didn’t even get to taste it.