Katherine Verdery: Friendship & Betrayal in Communist Romania : Invisibilia You know the old saying--keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But what if you can't tell the difference? In this episode, the story of two friends who got caught up in a Top Secret operation that tested their assumptions about trust, betrayal, loyalty, and power.

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KIA MIAKKA NATISSE, HOST:

From NPR, this is INVISIBILIA. I'm Kia Miakka Natisse, and I'm a snitch. OK. I'm not saying it like I'm proud. I just want to be honest. I'm not good at keeping secrets, especially under pressure. It's something I learned about myself in high school from a friend I made my senior year.

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NATISSE: She was a new student in a very white school, and so it's pretty easy for two Black girls to find each other and become friends. Back then, I felt very self-conscious, and I was definitely sheltered. But my new friend, she seemed so cool. Once, she told me a story about how she ran away from home and ended up on the evening news. I thought she was such a badass.

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NATISSE: One day, she and I decided to go get tattooed together. Now, mind you, neither of us were legally of age, but we had heard about a guy who'd give you a tattoo, no questions asked. And so for a mere $15 in the kitchen of a big man named Bear, I got my name in cursive tattooed on the small of my back. And my friend, she got her name tatted on her back, too. This tattoo was my first and only real act of teenage rebellion. And I hid it maybe a month before it was accidentally exposed at Thanksgiving dinner. And when my parents confronted me about the tattoo, I, the snitch, sang like a bird.

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NATISSE: You can see where this is going. When my tattoo sister found out that I told everything, it very easily marked the end of our friendship. She couldn't trust me, and a lot of our mutual friends agreed I couldn't be trusted either. And I graduated high school basically friendless.

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NATISSE: So I learned about trust the hard way. You can't have true friendship without trust, right? It's an essential part of the friendship code - or at least that's what we think. But what if the very notion of trust gets scrambled?

Today on the show, the story of American anthropologist Katherine Verdery and how she found herself trying to navigate a different kind of code - what happens in a friendship when two people draw different lines between trust and betrayal? Reporter David Gutherz takes it from here.

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DAVID GUTHERZ, BYLINE: It's 1984. Bruce Springsteen has just released "Born In The U.S.A."

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BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: (Singing) Born in the U.S.A. I was...

GUTHERZ: Americans are being introduced to a new personal computer.

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: ...Will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984.

GUTHERZ: And 6,000 miles away from Silicon Valley at a little academic party in Romania, an American anthropologist named Katherine Verdery is introduced to a Romanian sociologist who she calls Mariana.

KATHERINE VERDERY: She was a very pretty woman with strikingly green eyes. And when I first met her, she just - she had this way of connecting with people through her eyes that was really quite astonishing. You feel as if your whole being was being sucked into her gaze.

GUTHERZ: It's an instant friend crush. But Katherine isn't sure whether she should try to reach out. She's a bit nervous, not only 'cause breaking the ice is always hard, but from years of trying to get close to people, Katherine has learned that making friends in Romania is serious business and very different from what she knew back home.

In the beginning, when she first set foot in Romania in the 1970s, Katherine was 25 and not the best socializer in the world. She had come to write a dissertation about communist peasants.

VERDERY: And in the area where I worked, they would make piles of hay with pitchforks that were getting bigger and bigger, sitting out in the fields, until you got this tall sort of pyramid shape. And sometimes I would help people do some haying also, and I thought that was fun.

GUTHERZ: Romania at that point was very much a communist country. It was generally aligned with the Soviet Union. But at the same time, they were also trying to go their own way.

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: The sea may be black and the country red, but Romania has made it its business to get onto the same wavelength as its tourists from the West.

GUTHERZ: And part of that meant opening their doors to Western tourists and businesses and scholars. But despite putting on a friendly face for Westerners, the country still had a notorious secret police force - the Securitate.

VERDERY: People had had unpleasant experiences in the 1950s and up to approximately, you know, the early '60s when relatives or friends were, you know, picked up in the night with the black car and all of that kind of thing. And some of them never came back.

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GUTHERZ: By the time Katherine arrived in those hayfields, the Securitate had been trying to rely less on kidnapping and direct violence. They're moving in a different direction - building a huge surveillance system with some paid operatives, but also a lot of neighbors snitching on neighbors, friends turning on friends - hundreds of thousands of ordinary people secretly telling the government who's hanging out with whom, who's saying subversive things, who might be an enemy of the state.

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GUTHERZ: So pretty early on, Katherine started to realize, with Securitate officers lurking everywhere, a lot of people didn't want to be seen talking to a nosy American. Like, one time, she set up an interview with some peasants in Transylvania just to talk to them about their lives.

VERDERY: And then when I got there, the gate was locked and they were nowhere to be found. And I kept going back, and they had just, you know, decamped.

GUTHERZ: Other people were just straight-up aggressive - like this woman Katherine approached to ask some standard anthropologist questions.

VERDERY: I said, I'm wondering if I could make a time to come and talk to you about your family history.

GUTHERZ: She wanted to know about kinship systems, land use practices, you know, first date kind of stuff.

VERDERY: And she looked at me and she said, I don't know what it is you're doing, but a lot of people say you're a spy, and I don't want you in my house.

GUTHERZ: So Katherine made a plan. She started taking copious notes on every social interaction. She watched. She listened. And little by little, she started picking up on strategies to make her sources more comfortable talking to her. She learned to always park a few blocks away from people's houses - never right outside - to turn up the radio during sensitive conversations, to never mention the name of one source to another if they didn't know each other. And she also started to realize Romanians weren't just watching to see how good she was at evading the Securitate. They were also maybe operating with a whole different code for how to pick friends.

VERDERY: Romanians of the time especially were always asking themselves, what do I know about this person that makes me feel confident that I can take the next step towards friendly intimacy with them?

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GUTHERZ: Like, she notices people were constantly putting one another through little tests, just watching to see who might be a blabbermouth, or dropping information just to see if it'd be passed on to someone else.

VERDERY: East Europeans that I've discussed this with say Americans have such a feeble notion of friendship. You know, you meet with somebody, you have a really great time, and hey, presto, this person's your best friend.

GUTHERZ: The Romanians that Katherine was meeting, a lot of them had lived through several wars, fascist repression and now a government that was basically commanding people to betray their best friends. So yeah, they had to think about a little more than just fun.

VERDERY: They would say, we're not like that. For us to become friends with somebody, we have to know them for a long time. We have to have seen them in a number of different settings in which they would have had the opportunity to betray us or not.

GUTHERZ: Despite all the fear, the suspicions, after a decade of work and trips back and forth to Romania, Katherine finds herself with more than just sources. She has a community, real friends - and not just in the feeble, low-key American way, but a close circle of people who she trusted and who had decided, maybe against their better judgment, to trust her, too.

VERDERY: I got invited to New Year's Eve parties. And in those contexts, people would be very loose and relaxed. And then periodically, they'd say to me when they were telling a dirty joke, don't write that down (laughter).

GUTHERZ: And it's at one of those parties that Katherine first meets Mariana.

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GUTHERZ: That year, 1984, it's a time of intense paranoia. Reagan is in the White House talking about the evil empire, and Romanian communists are ramping up a campaign to root out critics of the government. All of Katherine's friends seem way more on edge, way more worried about spies crashing their parties. And it rubs off. Katherine's field notes from the time are full of passages like this.

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VERDERY: Terrible inner restlessness and unease, despite my wonderfully warm and receptive set of friends. I go to dinner, eat and drink and laugh far too much, discover interesting things and then go home to brood about which of those people will report some innocent remark of mine.

GUTHERZ: Even with all this paranoia, though, Katherine can't help but feel that she and Mariana are meant to be friends. A note about Mariana - that's not her real name. Everything we know about her comes from a memoir that Katherine wrote. For reasons that will become clear later in the story, Katherine decided to keep Mariana's identity a secret. And she's still making every effort to ensure it stays that way. What we do know is that Katherine desperately wanted Mariana to like her.

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GUTHERZ: After that first meeting, they got together a couple of times to hang out and talk shop. Katherine would prep for these Mariana encounters as if they were exams - trying to remember all the right things she needs to say and do to seem like good friend material - trustworthy, smart, but also just cool. And then one night...

VERDERY: She invited me to come back to her house and have some coffee with her.

GUTHERZ: Katherine was, of course, thrilled to accept the invitation. So they go back to Mariana's, sit down at the kitchen table and they're talking and talking.

VERDERY: And after a while I said, are you feeling OK about having this not be a professional encounter? It's just becoming more like a friendship.

GUTHERZ: And maybe this sounds like a weird interaction to us. But because of the intense political environment and everything she'd learned about Romanian friendship norms, Katherine felt like she had to be explicit. She was asking Mariana if she was ready to try having a deep, actually trusting relationship.

VERDERY: She said, well, shedding my professional facade is a loss (laughter). So it was easier for her when it was all, you know, parties after lectures and things of that kind.

GUTHERZ: Wow - the sense that it's a loss, that she almost was, like, putting down her shield or something.

VERDERY: Yeah, exactly.

GUTHERZ: But Mariana eventually says yes. She wants to go for it.

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GUTHERZ: Katherine and Mariana both know that being friendly with a foreigner is a risk for Romanians. And so the two of them start sneaking around together. To avoid raising any red flags with snitches or the secret police, Katherine would always take a cab or a bus a few blocks from Mariana's house, then try to steal in unseen. Katherine and Mariana also decided to keep their friendship a secret from Mariana's husband.

VERDERY: You could never 100% be certain that another person was really on your side. You could feel pretty confident, but you could also have nasty surprises.

GUTHERZ: But Mariana's husband, he's out of the house a lot, so Katherine and Mariana can have these secret marathon hangouts, talking all night long. Here's how Katherine writes about it in her memoir.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: (Reading) We talked for hours about everything, from my life at home and her childhood in Romania to our jobs and memorable affairs. Unusually verbal, smart, funny and self-aware, a wonderful cook and marvelous companion, she became my closest friend that year.

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GUTHERZ: It feels like she and Mariana are two against the world. They share secrets, write letters when they're apart, travel together when they can. Mariana makes Katherine feel safe because they've got that next-level kind of bond, maybe the kind you can only get from years of evading the cops together.

VERDERY: It's just a sense that grows over time when you are with somebody that they are actually a part of your universe and understand the universe you are in.

GUTHERZ: And that's how she feels even when - maybe especially when - Mariana makes this confession to Katherine. Here's Katherine's memoir again.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: (Reading) Shortly after our friendship began, she'd been asked to file informers reports on me and had done. She told me how terrible it made her feel. Describing it as devastating, how after every visit of mine, she would wait and dread for her officer's call to set up a meeting, how she would lay awake all night with stomach pains.

GUTHERZ: For some people, this might be a relationship-ending type of revelation. Mariana was admitting that she had talked to the secret police. But instead, for Katherine, the conversation confirmed how special their friendship was. The Securitate had tried to pull them apart, but here was Mariana being honest and vulnerable, putting herself in danger by telling Katherine what she'd been through. So Katherine says she didn't stop to ask much about the details. She was just focused on comforting her friend.

VERDERY: She kept worrying that I was going to think badly of her and so on because this had happened. And I had to keep reassuring her, look; don't worry about it.

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GUTHERZ: Shortly after this revelation, Mariana and Katherine's whole world spins off its axis.

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UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: Astonishing news from East Germany...

GUTHERZ: 1989 - the Soviet system starts to crumble.

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UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: ...Of the Berlin Wall doesn't mean anything anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #2: News of the unrest in Romania began to reach the West at the weekend.

GUTHERZ: That same year, a revolution overthrows the police state that Katherine and Mariana have spent so much time hiding from.

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UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #2: Nicolae Ceausescu ruled Romania for 24 years, relying heavily on the hated secret police. His downfall...

GUTHERZ: And through it all, Katherine and Mariana see each other regularly. They scheme about new research projects. They stay close - until one day Katherine finds herself staring at a big box labeled top secret. And well, I mean, what would you do?

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GUTHERZ: So in 2006, Katherine is back in Romania working on a new research project. And for it, she has to dig around in the Romanian secret police archives, which have recently been unsealed. And one day, an archivist she's been working with for a while comes up to her and asks her this question - Katherine, don't you want to see your own secret police file?

VERDERY: I looked at her with, you know, complete disbelief and said, how could I do that?

GUTHERZ: Katherine had always known that the Securitate was keeping some kind of file on her, like they did on most foreigners. And Mariana had basically told her that back in the '80s. At the same time, though, she figured it couldn't have been that big a deal. The Romanian government had let her move around freely doing her research for decades. But she thinks, may as well check it out.

It takes a year for Katherine's file to be ready. And as she's walking up to the research room, she's trying to imagine what could possibly be in there, maybe a couple folders' worth of wild rumors filed by overzealous cops and shady characters, except when Katherine gets to her desk, that is not what she sees.

VERDERY: They put a pile, you know, a foot and a half high of huge volumes held together by string.

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GUTHERZ: Instead of a couple dozen pages, there are 11 volumes of files waiting for her - four boxes of almost 3,000 pages of secret police reports going all the way back to her first days in the hay fields.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: (Reading) Not at all to be underestimated as an adversary...

She's cold as ice, calculating in every word.

And after she quits us, the attack from abroad will begin.

GUTHERZ: Turns out, Katherine wasn't the lowly, anonymous researcher she thought she was. The Romanian government had a story about her, a story they'd been building with decades of evidence. In the Today's view, Katherine was Kitty the folklorist, a femme fatale hired by the CIA to stir up ethnic hatred and foment revolution. And the Securitate weren't just passively collecting information on Katherine, they manipulated her research...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: (Reading) Source was given a task of occupying himself closely with guiding and orienting...

GUTHERZ: ...Hired people to wine and dine her.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: (Reading) ...Of introducing an informer who will maintain intimate relations with her so we can control her more efficiently.

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GUTHERZ: They'd even installed hidden cameras in one of her hotel rooms. Katherine actually kept notes from the day she found these photos, which give me chills every time I read them.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: (Reading) I come upon photos of myself from the Teo in my room at the Continental Hotel. I'm in my underwear, making my bed and then using the mirror above it to fix my hair. The outlines of my body are quite clear, though. The photos are lovely. Later on, have a mental image of myself in my underwear, pinned like a butterfly on a collector's table with spotlights shining on me from different directions - become embarrassed, then feel angry, then violated.

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VERDERY: Knowing that you're being followed and reported on is completely different from actually confronting what was going on then.

GUTHERZ: And here's what was going on then. The worst part - all these reports on Katherine, they weren't produced just by people who were getting paid by the Securitate or a couple of random, shady characters. They were built on information filed by over 70 of her acquaintances and her friends. The file had detailed information about thousands of tiny, intimate moments where she'd been secretly ensnared in the Securitate's web...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: (Reading) Target is a lively individual.

GUTHERZ: ...Guys who chatted her up at a local bar, work friends who she used to share drafts of articles with.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: (Reading) Her presence in our country is aimed at collecting tendentious information of a sociopolitical character.

GUTHERZ: Suddenly, her whole life in Romania is speeding through her mind, and it's all been hijacked.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: (Reading) She knows how to make herself likable when she wants to.

She has contacted elements with the national...

...Whom she stimulates in maintaining a resistant attitude towards state authorities.

GUTHERZ: Her whole concept of what's real, of who she is, of who she can trust, of who her friends were - none of it feels true.

So many of the people that Katherine had worked so hard to build trust with had informed on her, including - and I know you saw this coming - Mariana - wonderful, rock solid Mariana, who, according to her Securitate handler's assessment, had not been a stomach achy intermittent informer, but an A-plus student who, quote, "manifested conscientiousness in fulfilling her tasks, punctuality in her meetings and care in preserving confidentiality."

VERDERY: Well, it's one thing to have one of your closest friends saying, you know, these - this guy was really nasty to me, and he asked me, you know, very leading questions. And it's another thing to read this person's words where she's saying, yes, I know this person. She is finding information that isn't favorable to us Romanians. This was the thing the police were particularly concerned about. And to hear her words - to see her words - because a lot of what I read in the files was her reports written out in her handwriting...

GUTHERZ: Mariana even helped the Securitate get their hands on Katherine's field notes, that notebook that anthropologists keep all their most private, crucial insights in.

VERDERY: Definitely, the faster I read, the worse it got (laughter) in a sense. Just having to take on board all of these different things that they were doing kind of one right after another and feeling bewildered and surrounded.

GUTHERZ: Katherine is overwhelmed and hurt and confused.

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GUTHERZ: Sure, she never got actually arrested and deported. But in a way, this all felt so much bigger than that. Did her friends really think she was a spy, or were they totally bullied into this by the police? But as she keeps thinking about it all - thinking about it for years - she realizes that this dossier, it doesn't have to be just a painful record of lies and betrayal. She could treat it as precious anthropological data, data that could shed light on how this police state or any police state wormed its way into people's lives. So in 2010, Katherine decides to go back to Romania and to ask her so-called friends directly, what happened? Why did you betray me? Top of her list, Mariana.

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GUTHERZ: When Katherine reaches out to Mariana, she doesn't play any games. She's direct. She says, basically, I know what you did. Will you please talk to me about it? And, Mariana, unlike a lot of other people that Katherine has reached out to, she says, yes, let's do this. So they arranged to meet at a mutual friend's house in Romania. They sit down to talk, and Katherine starts taking notes. Right away, Mariana launches into a recruitment story. It sounds like something straight out of a movie. Apparently, Mariana's grandfather had been killed by the secret police in the '50s. And one day, shortly after she and Katherine first started hanging out, Mariana comes home to find a Securitate agent outside her door. Here's the next thing Katherine remembers Mariana saying.

VERDERY: Getting into his waiting car, they drove to the Securitate building near the train station. They were very ceremonious, polite. You have some traumatic events in the past - your grandfather. Our Securitate is different, but we still have to guard our country. You have a connection with a person from the U.S. We're not asking for much - just a few notes.

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GUTHERZ: This went on for seven hours. Mariana tells Katherine she was terrified. The agents brought up her work at the university. She was afraid her job was in danger. She didn't feel like she had a choice. She had to inform, but she tells Katherine she always tried to be smarter than the agents, tried not to say anything that could lead to Katherine being hurt physically or professionally. And even though she knew she was informing, Katherine remembers her saying that she hated thinking of herself as an informer.

VERDERY: She said to me, the word informer is repugnant to me. Hearing it about myself, I refuse it. I don't identify with this label. Maybe this is why I can talk about it so easily.

She knew it was, you know, terrible that she had given all this information on me, and she said that.

GUTHERZ: And that night, the two of them have dinner together. The next day, when they sit down to talk again, something's different. Mariana - she turns the tables on Katherine.

VERDERY: Mariana said to me, you have no idea how awful it was to have this duplicitous relationship with you - wanting to get closer to you and create trust while constantly knowing that I was duplicitous. It set up a dreadful conflict in me. It changed my relation to myself. If a Securitate agent called in the morning for an afternoon meeting, my day would be ruined. If he called in the evening for the next day, I wouldn't sleep a wink. But at the same time, I had a powerful desire to see you, to develop our connection.

Mariana said to me, you know, you caused me so much trouble, as if I was the agent for all this hassling she was a part of.

GUTHERZ: This was not how Katherine expected this to go. She'd sat down already to learn about how the secret police had manipulated Mariana into betraying her. And now here was Mariana saying that it was Katherine who had been the bad friend.

VERDERY: I mean, she was the one who totally baffled me by saying how much harm I had done to her. I thought that was kind of an odd thing to say because she was doing harm to me by giving those reports.

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VERDERY: After this, I had a terrible night's sleep - wide awake, obsessing about it, feeling bad. Who betrayed whom? Whose responsibility was it to prevent this trauma?

GUTHERZ: And that could have been the end of it - two completely different stories and a feeling of betrayal on both sides that no one knows how to come to terms with. Mariana and Katherine are stuck with this question. Who was responsible? Who's to blame?

I get stuck here a lot, too. Every time I get to this point in the story, I have a completely different response. Half the time, I hear Mariana's side and I'm just enraged. Like, how dare she sit here and gaslight Katherine instead of taking responsibility for her actions? This is classic abuser playbook nonsense. You have no idea how much it hurt me to hurt you. I don't buy it. But then the next day, I've totally switched sides. Mariana is completely right. Katherine is just another naive American flying around the world, putting everyone else in danger. So a few people were talking about you behind your back. Boohoo.

And then if you look at this whole thing from 10,000 feet high, they're living in a police state. Obviously, neither of them are responsible. The Securitate is. Well, but at the same time, back down at the human level, even if they're just grasping around the dark without quite knowing what the consequences might be, both Katherine and Mariana did make choices. I go back and forth and up and down and back and forth.

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GUTHERZ: But Katherine, she found a way to break out of this cycle.

VERDERY: Well, I think I tried to stop envisioning it as a problem of betrayal. And so just thinking in terms of, was it my fault, or was it her fault? - I think there was something wrong about asking that question.

GUTHERZ: What Katherine and Mariana ended up doing, in a way, was a lot more interesting than just settling the blame or deciding which one of them really failed the friendship tests.

I mean, did you just - how did you patch things up after this conversation? Did - this all came out, and then you and Mariana were able to just say, like, bygones be bygones?

VERDERY: (Laughter) Well, to answer that question, I'd have to say some more things about her that I don't want to say because it'll reveal who she is. But we talked on the phone a lot. And if I went to Romania, I always tried to see her. And she was always happy to see me.

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GUTHERZ: After all the drama, Katherine and Mariana, they got back to the mundane. Katherine flew back to the U.S. She sent Mariana an email sharing some new intel she had on Mariana's Securitate handler. Mariana wrote back, and Katherine responded. And Mariana wrote back again. They kept writing and they kept talking for years.

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GUTHERZ: From talking to Katherine, I know that she's still hurting. Mariana's name still makes her flinch, and I bet that Mariana didn't just get over things, either. They never settled the argument about who betrayed whom. They just sat with each other's pain. And they kept sitting, writing emails, asking questions, eating dinner, being friends.

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NATISSE: That's reporter David Gutherz.

OK, that's it for today's episode, but our season isn't over yet. We'll be back in a few weeks with more stories, all about different depths of friendship people are exploring. Like, what might happen when friends with benefits are actually real friends?

LOTUS: You can play with your friend's body, and you can see what buttons turn them on. And then you look at each other, and you're like, oh, that's awesome.

NATISSE: And what the toilet can tell us about building strong bonds.

TRACY: If you can talk about poop with someone, you should be able to talk about anything.

NATISSE: Plus, a very special crossover episode with relationship expert and psychotherapist Esther Perel.

ESTHER PEREL: Each of you is saying to the other, I need to know the insides of you. I don't really need to know what you decide to do so much.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #5: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #6: Yeah.

GUTHERZ: This episode was produced by Andrew Mambo and Liza Yeager, and it was expertly steered by Luis Trelles, who's our senior editor for this season.

ANDREW MAMBO, BYLINE: Katherine's notes were brought to life by Lorraine Mattox, and Sorin Grama helped voice the Securitate file. This episode was mastered by INVISIBILIA's technical director Andy Huether, fact-checking by Brin Winterbottom.

ABBY WENDLE, BYLINE: We had additional production support by Melissa Kaplan, Alicia Qian, Jo Nixon and Tracy Brannstrom. We also had added help on this episode from Gregory Warner, Jess Jiang and Brianna Scott.

If you want to learn more about Katherine's research and her experiences in Romania, this episode is based on her memoir "My Life As A Spy: Investigations In A Secret Police File" and also on "Secrets And Truths: Ethnography In The Archive Of Romania's Secret Police."

GUTHERZ: We're also very grateful to Kristen Ghodsee and Kaitlyn Sorenson for sharing their expertise about communist-era Romania. A special thanks to Eliza Starbuck Little, Tesmerelna Atsbeha and Carmen Merport Quinones for listening to endless drafts and even more rants over these past few months. We couldn't have done this without you.

MAMBO: This season of INVISIBILIA is also produced by Kia Miakka Natisse, Yowei Shaw, Abby Wendle, Rhaina Cohen, Adelina Lancianese and Justine Yan. We also had help from Micah Ratner and Gerry Holmes. Our supervising producer is Liana Simstrom, and Nicole Beemsterboer is our supervising senior producer. Neal Carruth is our senior director of programming, and our senior vice president of programming is Anya Grundmann.

WENDLE: Our theme music is by Infinity Knives. And other music for this episode was provided by Ramtin Arablouei, Connor Lafitte, Connor Moore from CMoore Sound and Yung Kartz. To see original illustrations for this episode and for the rest of our season by Sonnenzimmer, visit npr.org/invisibilia.

NATISSE: See you all October 21.

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