OCTOBER 1957 CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND On a Tuesday I came home from school to an empty house, watched the evening news, and then took two Equanil caplets lifted from my mother. Nothing happened, so after an hour I took three more, and then maybe more after that, I can’t remember....

JANUARY 1966 BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA I met with Nico Fermetti in his kitchen on a Thursday evening after dinner, the two of us sitting in chairs pulled up to a Formica table with a chrome band around the edge. The surface was bubbled and bleached in places from cigarette burns,...

OCTOBER 1957 CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND The visits with Miss Kay started the week after the Equanil and the hospital, and were a condition of my continued enrollment at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Miss Kay was probably not that bad. In fact I could tell she wanted to like me, which...

JANUARY 1966 BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA I had found the apartment in San Telmo with the help of a motherly rental agent in a pink suit who had tried to cheat me on her percentage not once but twice, and reacted with a broad and charming laugh both times I pointed it out, as if we were...

NOVEMBER 1957 CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND After the Equanil, everyone thought I was crazy. And as soon as my sanity was in question, everyone was suddenly very worried about what boys I knew and if I was ever alone with them and if I understood what would happen to me if I got pregnant....

JANUARY 1966 BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA There was a space-age ice cream parlor just off the Plaza del Congreso with a low white counter that swirled sinuously past the vats of ice cream, a subtle pearlized sheen in the plastic. Abstract shapes in mint green and tangerine and beige...

NOVEMBER 1957 CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND One Wednesday I got to Miss Kay’s office for my counseling appointment before she did, and on her way in she banged her leg on the corner of the table by the door, the one covered with pamphlets on mental hygiene. She was red when she sat down....

FEBRUARY 1966 BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA It took a while to set up my equipment in the small room on the top floor of the grand pastry shop with the windmill, the Confitería del Molino. It was an old accounts office with a CUENTAS stencil still just visible on the pebbled glass of...

In the midst of this froth of political chatter and school gossip, Román was often aloof, sitting at one end of the table, undercutting another person’s point with a joke, doing casual impressions of professors, rarely saying anything that would reveal his point of view. Perhaps...

NOVEMBER 1957 CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND Our house was often empty. It had been that way even when my father was alive; both my parents worked long hours at the magazine, and my afternoons had always been quiet, myself and Mrs. Cooper attending to separate business in distant rooms of...