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Last night the pub was full of golfers, among them two American men. Outside I overheard one of them tell the husband he was from Coronado, an island accessible from downtown San Diego via an elegant blue bridge.

I had a flashback to my senior prom in a turreted Gilded Age hotel on the island: awkward, excitable teenagers in satiny dresses and shiny suits, shimmying in a plush vast high-vaulted room built from Oregon sugar pine by Chinese laborers from San Francisco and Oakland. Chocolate-dipped strawberry on my tongue, I had gazed out beyond the windows, at the sea, salt-flecked night, a future outside of the high school and city I despised.

Anyways, I didn't introduce myself, although they seemed polite, opening doors for me and bringing their empty pint glasses up to the bar. I didn't know if I could resist discussing politics. I didn't want to ascertain the co-ordinates of their America. Would I fit in such a place? Did they, too, want to Send Her Home? I've never felt so far away from the country of my birth as I did when I recognised familiar accents, and failed to respond.


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