My mother used to joke that as a child I learned to be homeless. Our family was the most serious kind of refugees—the kind that lived out of very few bags. We’d made our way from war-time buses out of Tehran to a pit-stop in Turkey, then on to nunneries in the Alps, relatives’ cramped apartments in Paris, and downtown Los Angeles flophouses. We eventually found a home, but that life I led as a three year old seems to have left an impression. I’ve rarely lived in a single space longer than a couple of years and I’ve called half a dozen cities home. In New York, where I currently live, I have moved apartments 12 times.
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