For her whole life, the world had been divided into the people around her, people who knew her, and who she was. Most of those were people who wished her well and supported her and she supported them back. Some of those people were bad people and meant her harm—the camps were not paradise—but even for them, it was personal.

But there was another world, vast beyond her knowing, of people who didn’t know her at all, but who held her life in their hands. The ones who thronged in demonstrations against refugees. The politicians who raged about the scourge of terrorists hidden among refugees, and the ones who talked in code about “assimilation” and “too much, too fast.” The soldiers and cops and guards who pointed guns at her, barked orders at her. The bureaucrats she never saw who rejected her paperwork for cryptic reasons she could only guess at, and the bureaucrats who looked her in the eye and rejected her paperwork and refused to explain themselves.

Now there was a new group in that latter class, distant as the causes of the weather: the building management company and its laser printer, blasting out eviction threats to people whose names they didn’t know and whose faces they’d never seen over transgressions so petty and rules so demeaning.