In Egypt Land – By the time I was ten years old my mother and I had hitchhiked for thousands of miles and befriended hundreds of exceptionally strange people. We had danced around bonfires and lived in vans, buses, and an ice cream truck. Some nights we slumbered blissfully under the stars, others I lay awake paralyzed by the howling of wolves. Our quest for utopia stalled out in rural Washington State when Claudia married Leopoldo, a former Salvadoran guerrilla fighter who brought with him demons from the civil war in Central America and a serious drinking problem. My mother was convinced that he was a messianic revolutionary hero she had foretold in clairvoyant visions. I was pretty sure Leopoldo was going to kill us. He was an occultist and believed in alchemy and the dark arts of ancient Egypt. He also believed in beating my mother whenever the mood struck him. Our time with him was deeply trying, and I began to question my blossoming faith. Why would God allow this man to treat us this way?
From love child to Jewish attorney ...»