I am eleven and everyone thinks I am asleep. We are driving through the east coast, stopping for burgers and restrooms. The radio is on. A woman is speaking. She is telling us, those of us driving and awake, that her brother raped her. She is telling us her mother did not believe her. This forms my first idea of America: a country where it is easy to speak your truth.

I am twenty three and everyone is asleep, or close to it. We are driving down from the Himalayas to Delhi. We have been in the car for 8 hours already. We are listening to an audio-book. It is better than talking. The book is by David Sedaris, but the narrator is nameless. Tonight, he is our parent, reading to us and marking the close of day. Our job is to listen. We are allowed to fall asleep, allowed to drift away from the words, absorb only the sound.



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