Summary: Chapter 10

In Marin, Saeed and Nadia set up a shanty of packing crates and a metal roof. They get a solar panel with a battery for electricity and rainwater collectors for water. Nadia gets a job at a grocery co-op in Sausalito. Marin has a sense of optimism about it.

As Nadia brings home some marijuana a coworker gave her, she realizes she doesn’t know how Saeed will react to it. He has become more melancholic and devout. His religiousness has started to feel like a reproach. They sit on the sofa next to each other. Saeed laughs joyfully when he sees the marijuana, and they smoke like they once did back in their old city. Nadia wants to hug him but doesn’t. 

The narrator observes that Marin has almost no natives because most of the town’s native population faced displacement and genocide. However, other people who live there consider themselves native. A group considered native are the descendants of enslaved Africans. 

Saeed finds a place of worship primarily composed of Black Americans. Saeed enjoys the preacher’s words and likes that the congregation does a lot of charity work. The preacher's wife, now deceased, originally came from Saeed’s country. Saeed joins the volunteer group, along with the preacher’s daughter, who is around his age. He thinks she’s beautiful but feels guilty about it.

Nadia notices Saeed seems happier and also feels guilty. He reminds her of the old Saeed, but she is not the old Nadia. She no longer desires him and thinks of him as a brother. Her understanding of her sexuality is changing. While she still finds men attractive, she begins to think more and more of the girl from Mykonos. 

Saeed begins to pray more often. He has prayed throughout his life, and praying connects him to his past, his parents, and all of humanity. It reminds him of mortality. He cannot explain this to Nadia, but the preacher’s daughter understands him. She asks him to tell her about her mother’s country, and they talk well into the night.