MY MOTHER DROVE ME TO THE AIRPORT WITH THE WINDOWS ROLLED down.2 It was seventy-five degrees in Phoenix,3 the sky a perfect cloudless blue. I was wearing my favorite shirt—sleeveless, white eyeless lace—as a farewell gesture. I was saying farewell to my mother because I was leaving. My carry-on item was a parka because I was going to Forks—a town in Washington which not only boasts having so many cloudy days a year a vampire could live there, but also boasts being so dark in the daytime that a vampire could also live there.
In the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington State, a small town named Forks4 exists under a near-constant cover of clouds. It rains in this inconsequential town more than any other place in the United States of America.5 It was from this town and its gloomy, omnipresent shade that my mother escaped with me when I was only a few months old. It was in this town that I'd been compelled to spend a month every summer until I was fourteen. That

2. Also known as the Phoenix International Airport, the first and only international airport in the world to have all of its windows rolled down.
3. The city which boasts the first and only international airport in the world that allows all of its windows to be rolled down, simultaneously.
4. Originally founded in 1806 by Georges and Hilda Fork, Forks quickly gained a reputation as the largest regional exporter of its eponymous product, the fork.
5. Originally founded in 1776 by George Washington, who is known for his legendary hatred for "ill weathers," a driving force behind his bid for independence from Britain.