See Below



Joseph Kisarian→Henry Pomeranz

Dear Mr. Pomeranz:

As I conclude my leave of absence, it is incumbent upon me to report my ongoing concern over the mental and physical health of my wife, Lulu Kisarian (Citizen Agent 3825), who completed her mission nearly two years ago.

Some of the difficulty arises from the several surgeries Lulu has undergone to repair damage from the gunshot wound to her right shoulder (she is righthanded), a hindrance to caring for our eight-monthold twins, whom she can lift only with difficulty. But my deeper worry is her mental state. She is convinced that spyware remains within her body, citing the following symptoms as evidence:

Edited Draft
Second Draft
Initial Draft
  • A tendency to think aphoristically in the second person, as required for her mission’s Field Instructions (e.g., “Laundered socks will vanish despite your best efforts to track them”; “Reading books about babies sleeping may not result in your babies sleeping more”).
  • A persistent wish to return to her mission, despite its agonies, as if to a mythical land from a dream or a book.
  • A conviction that she—and I—would have been “better off” had she perished at the end of her mission rather than returning.

We have availed ourselves of every in-house resource in terms of therapy and body scans, but Lulu’s present distrust of our institution renders these assurances null. I understand that, after the expos last fall and resulting suspension of the Citizen Agent program, seeking outside consultation is doubly impossible now. Yet this leaves us in a bind.

Lulu’s wariness and anxiety prevent our employing child care of any sort. The staunchest reassurance about vetting and references for babysitters or daycare programs prompt her to quote from her own indoctrination: “Your lack of espionage training is what makes your record clean and neutral.” And of course she is right.

The secrecy of Lulu’s mission has distanced her from old friends, and she avoids the company of other new mothers. For these reasons, my return must be conditional. I am not concerned for the children’s physical safety or Lulu’s own; I would not return at all if such were the case. But if her suffering and discomfort do not abate, I will have to take an indefinite leave to assist her.


Joseph Kisarian


Henry Pomeranz→Joseph Kisarian
What a shit show, Joe…