Nearly a year ago (December 12th last year), I returned to the US, bitter, defeated, humbled. I felt like a wild rat, matted hair and all, running through the streets of San Francisco: I could only scramble around in a city, and in a country, that felt alien and scary to me, trying to avoid boots that threatened to kick me from every side. I recovered, of course, but the first few days, fighting jet lag and a real sense of unconditional defeat,