When I tell you my childhood was wasted at sea, you should bear in mind I may be an unreliable narrator. When I say I spent a year in military school, disguised as a boy, be skeptical—though in fact I did. Each morning we polished our boots to an oily sheen and ran through the spruce woods with empty guns. When I tell you I love white wine, it’s the plain truth. As is the fact that my mother was a painter and my father a cellist— or a physicist. I get the two confused. I get confused about the relative weight of my loneliness: it seems so heavy, but where is it? Did you know I survived shipwreck? That I was marooned and lived a long time on the island? Surely that explains this hook-shaped scar, my love of salt. I ask for no help with these burdens. The earthquake rocked, rocked the building’s foundation and the bedposts swayed like masts. We set off from port. All my lies are like that: they travel so far over the horizon, then finally come back: my sea-weary, long lost kin.