JHUMPA LAHIRI, HAND-PAINTED BUSES, AND ARRIVING IN KOLKATA
I thought I was reading to take me back, in geography and in my own life. A way to revisit the teeming humanity on the train platform. The cardamom boiling in the milk for tea. The bitter smoke of morning air. A way to turn from the last page back to the first.
DRACULA, RUNES AND THE MIDNIGHT SUN
I was sure there were missing pages or I was misremembering the story of Dracula. I soon realized, though, that I wasn’t looking for an exquisitely crafted translation or even a new understanding of Dracula. Rather, I was reveling in the fact that one of my favorite stories had made its way to my favorite place in the world.
THE WONDER VALLEY DESERT OF GRAM PARSONS
After the killing was done, the deep silence of the desert returned, and I must have fallen back asleep quickly. When I awoke at sunrise, the whole thing seemed like a dream. I went to pee in the outhouse, and when I was done I ventured into the dawn-washed desert, looking for the kill site, for any evidence of what I had heard.