“I don’t understand these pictures,” said my Nanna. “I don’t understand what they have to do with the book!”

“They don’t have anything to do with the book,” I said. “They’re just…you know…nice pictures.”

“But they’re writing about the book, aren’t they?”


“So why do they need pictures of you?”

Good question. But before I could think of an answer, my sister piped up.

“I think they’re great!”

Of course, this is the same sister who insisted on being taken to Provincetown for a bikini wax and then, when I asked her how it went, flipped up her skirt in a waiting room full of people so that I could inspect the terrain for myself. I’m not sure she’s the best judge of what’s appropriate.

Meanwhile, I’m reintroducing an old concept to modern-day America: indentured servitude.

“Remember that?” I asked Molly. “The masters would pay for the servants’ passage to the New World, and then the servants would work for no money until they’d paid off their indenture.”

Molly’s nose wrinkled. “How long would that take?”

“Oh, about seven years, I think.”