ABOUT SEX, SOVEREIGNTY, AND STEAMPUNK
“Any big fears or insecurities?”
“You’re gonna ask me that before I have sex?!” she joked. I agree that, yes, the timing was shit and we could totally skip it. But she graciously answered,
“Failure. And not being accepted. Also drowning. And wet socks, I don’t know why.”
TO THE FOLLOWER OF CHIEKH BAMBA WHOM I MET IN DAKAR
The man’s image showed up on walls, windshields, doors, t-shirts, pendants: on any surface against which belief could be affirmed. I have set the postcard of him above my desk. The photograph is of Chiekh Amadou Bamba, a Sufi mystic, and you consider yourself his follower. “I am a Muslim only because of him,” you told me.
BEHIND THE BRIEFINGS: JANET RODRIGUEZ
“I come with a background where I'm not a shocked or as naive about why the president is doing any of this and the impact that it has and how it resonates with his base, and why he presses on the caravan issue for example. It just doesn't surprise me that he's using what's happening at the border for his own political advantage. It works because we've seen it work time and time again in Arizona.”
TO THE KENYAN DOCTOR WHO SAVED ME FROM MENINGITIS
We lived in mud huts without running water or electricity, just like our host families. We bathed in water boiled for us each morning by our host families. We ate meals with, and prepared by, our host families. At this, you scowled and shook your head.
TO THE ROOMFUL OF TRAVELERS WATCHING AMERICAN REALITY TV
They say that after a rain, a glassy surface of water settles over Bolivia’s salt flats, converting the land into the world’s largest mirror. I imagine the brujas, with their black braids and bowler hats, have something to do with this, holding a looking glass to the world. It takes a courage I didn’t have to gaze into it.