Next to me, my not- really- girlfriend, Gloria, heaved over and jammed a pillow on her head and said nasty stuff about people calling in the middle of the night. I ignored this and added, "Anything wrong?"
My mother said, "No, of course not. Why do you always ask that when I call you?"
"Because that's what people do when they get a call at one A.M. You forgot about the time zones again."
"I didn't forget. I thought soldiers always rose at dawn."
"When they're on duty," I said, "which I'm not. I'm at Gloria's place. What's up?"
"I'm at Heathrow on a plane for Zurich. I'll be gone for a couple of weeks. Could you tell your father?"
"Why don't you tell him yourself ? I think they still have phone service in the District of Columbia."
"Please, Theo. If I call him we'll get into a big argument, and I don't need that just now."
"Because you're going to Zurich for a few weeks? Why should he object to that?"
"Because I'm not going to Zurich. I'm just changing planes there. I'm going to Lahore."
That stopped me; sweat popped on my arms where they stuck out of the quilt. I said, "Lahore? Mom, you can't go to Lahore. There's a fatwa out on you. You can't go to the Muslim world anymore."(A bit more than just a paragraph this time!)