“We don’t have as much control as we think we do. And I understand that’s a terrifying realization. The person I think I am now may slip away from me in the next hour. Can I afford to admit this to myself? The world outside our heads can be such a chaotic place, even with the social structures we’ve established to make it less so. Being able to say “this is who I am” when everything else feels uncertain, flimsy, prone to dissolution, may be the greatest comfort we have. Is anything more seductive, more empowering?”

“With the onrushing green blur that he knew was the garden; the orange blob behind the trees that he thought was the setting sun; the echo of laughter that he recognized as the voice of the girl he would give his life for if she politely asked; the taste of tangerine, his world was suddenly set into motion.”

“In the beginning, the deception was straightforward. Her assignment was to root out any political radicals, and report back. She found spying on the academic set to be easy. These scientists and doctors weren’t as self-involved and closed off as she’d worried, they were too trusting.”

“But back to the schools—no ship jumping, no wading in the waters of the Atlantic would forestall the westernisation of the school system. I didn’t see myself in the reading primers in elementary school that stated, “See Jane run.” I wasn’t Jane. I needed an escape route, and in Los Angeles, the waters of the Atlantic could not be my salvation.”

“Where was her badge? That invisible insignia that had inspired a relentless neighbour to creep up on her and later lament to the deemster that it was indeed they who had been stealthily hunted and subjected to terror and obsession.”

“My response caused her to sit up even straighter and, without missing a beat, declare: “You’re real pretty for an African! I thought Africans were all ugly with black skin, thick lips, and fat noses.” “

“What becomes of the soil you walk upon;
When time is not as flat nor as straight
but it unfolds regardless?”