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Mika Chen's note

The boxlike room, stripped of all embellishment or parlor fussiness, a room that wished to be timeless or ahistorcal, and there, in the middle of it, my deeply historical, timeworn grandmother. Everything about Middlesex spoke of forgetting and everything about Desdemona made plain the inescapability of remembering. Against her heap of pillows she lay, exuding woe vapors, but in a kindly way. That was the signature of my grandmother and the Greek ladies of her generation: the kindliness of their despair. How they moaned while offering you sweets! How they complained of physical ailments while patting your knee! My visit always cheered Desdemona up.

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