TO THE WOMAN WHO LED US INTO THE MOUTH OF THE JAGUAR

I heard your voice before I saw you. You didn’t ask me if I was OK. You just began a conversation, as if we had been talking for a long time. You took my daughter’s hand, and you told me the entrance to Ek Balam’s temple was just a few steps away.

TO THE WOMAN WHO LED US INTO THE MOUTH OF THE JAGUAR

TO THE WAITER IN BEYOGLU WHO LEFT ME A TIP

Pamuk, to his credit, understood the rarity of his good fortune and set out to do something purposeful with it. After collecting his loot, he conceived of a fictional project that actually, for once, merited the designation of “novel,” in the adjectival sense of the word, as something had never been tried before.

TO THE WAITER IN BEYOGLU WHO LEFT ME A TIP

TO THE WOMAN WHO SPARED ME AN ORANGE

Still, even as early motherhood plunged me into full-body, full-time fear, I wanted my baby to know the wild openness of travel: bus rides deep into the mountains, a tiny village down a dirt road, turkey calls, coffee and beer at shared tables with strangers.

TO THE WOMAN WHO SPARED ME AN ORANGE

ABOUT THE FIRST TIME I MET CHARLES MANSON

He still had an enviable crop of hair and beard, now gray and relatively kempt, and though his skin was doughy and shadow-less his eyes were as soft and expressive as a pig's. As he sat at a visitation table in clean blue chambray, he looked less like America's most dangerous criminal and more like the original Maytag Man, waiting fist-to-cheek.

ABOUT THE FIRST TIME I MET CHARLES MANSON

ABOUT PORTOBELLO ROAD

I walk down Portobello Road, past the bright blue, red, and yellow facades of buildings that I have no desire to enter, past glossy, small boutiques filled with narrow-hipped women…I’m wearing clean scrubs, clogs. A foreigner. Refugee from a hospital, wanting to preserve my other life, the person I was before the sacrifices of this long training.

ABOUT PORTOBELLO ROAD