On this trip I feel like a child following a string. I picture a skein of red yarn, thrown from a great height, unspooled, bounced down a staircase, chucked around the corner and down a deep dark tunnel. The string feels sticky, or dusty or damp, is crammed between the wall and the floor, is caught on a rock, or is fraying and holding on by a thread. When I was living in D.C. we wrapped a strand of pink yarn all the way around the White House. The yarn became its own urgent emblem, its own entity, much more valuable than what you’d pick up in Jo-Ann Fabrics, though that’s probably where it came from. (Almost exactly 7 years ago.) And this string feels similarly important. There’s something waiting at the end, good or bad, I’m not sure.