At 9 years old, I was very excited to be going to New York with my grandmother. The trip included an excursion to a “mental hospital,” where one of her cousins was doing some sort of research for a year before he returned to Germany.

It was a long drive through the city. It was dark; he could only see us in the evening. When we arrived, we had to pass through locked gates where a uniformed man checked his list to make sure we were expected and the gate clanged shut as the car passed through. I remember feeling very apprehensive and my grandmother kept giving me reassuring looks.

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