We’re holed up in my husband’s hometown, in what he calls the Third World of Leitrim. The back of the beyond, as they say, where news comes in the form of Parish Notes. A freezing fog envelops the town, the hills white with frost late into the day. Dusk comes at half four. Daragh comes to me, smelling of cow; his parents have a farm, with thirty-four cattle; most of them destined for the butcher’s. He's grumpy--onions are fuckers, which he drops into a plastic bag, and later chops for the chili we concoct to defrost our souls. At night, windows light up here and there, blue where the TV flickers with messages from a distant realm: birds and whales, willowy women with faraway eyes, tiny skyscrapers, men running back and forth across a preternaturally green field. I am always cold here, and sometimes I fall asleep as I work, like a dormouse suddenly dropped off into the whorled bed of winter.