My mother is arguing with my grandfather in that weird, clipped way that they do in front of other people; looking down, words bursting in short eruptions, with hushed breath. If we were at home, they'd be shouting, in English interspersed with German and the occasional Yiddish. We're in a dining room at the Sheraton Hotel on East Ave in Rochester, NY, near the door to the kitchen, and there are people working and talking, getting lunch ready. The rattle of cutlery and china coming from the kitchen contrasts starkly with the deeply quiet, nearly empty restaurant around us. It's all very dark, with dark wood panelling, leather seats that are slightly too high and cushioned, so that I'm perched with feet out in front of me, and little pools of white light on the tables.