‘In my defense, I think it was that conjunction—between the message and the origin of the virus — that threw me off. I kept hearing about the country I had left. The country in which we had been happy. He had loved it, my country. Its vagaries, odd incidents and tragic characters, kept coming up on the radio and in the paper. Too bad for me, a flash flood in one of its provinces devastated people somewhere, then a group of hostages in the South became news, then this evangelical parachutist tried to hijack a plane—what else could happen in that accursed land that wouldn’t get play in this otherwise utterly indifferent city? I stopped reading the paper, tuned out NPR. But still, at work one day, a Monday or Tuesday, I was doing paperwork then and not scheduled yet to go on field, a mental image flashed back—or is that a good word for it, “mental,” when it encompasses so many other things, arteries, bloodflow, this throbbing in my wrist (and then of course the adjective has unintentional associations)—but I guess the word can stand for now, this mental image. A beach scene, something. Or, to be more accurate, an image not even as coherent or precisely located as that, vague but material at the same time, you know how it is: you have memory.’
Read Part 2 here.