When the news on the TV suddenly shut off a split second before the rest of the power in our neighborhood, I could hear the enduring melody of ‘happy birthday’ coming up from the large family party in the apartment beneath us. My hand collided with the Sheik’s hand as we dropped our nut shells in the bowl, unconcerned of the dark. His wife, restrained, collected, gathered candles and lit them as the children of this aging couple called from all over the building to check in. I certainly, had nowhere to go—it was only mid-morning on the west coast, my phone credit was low on dinars, and I reached for another Oregon hazelnut, my gift to them. Whether I wanted it or not I seemed to have reached a placating, inevitable patience here, Jordan. I couldn’t rush through a meal, my homework, my run: Claremont was a world away. When the lights returned, Abu Musa and I leaned back into the couch again, and let the candles burn a little.