The cottage’s bright yellow door swings open, and there, shadowed behind a curtain of brown beads—unable to venture farther because of the electronic monitor strapped to his right ankle—is George Wright.
“Come in,” he says. I step through the beads.
The mug shot of Wright—the picture that’s in my mind—shows a 19-year-old kid with a modest Afro, his jaw set, his eyes cold and challenging. Before me now is a 68-year-old man. His name is no longer George Wright. He’s José Luís Jorge dos Santos. Jorge for short. Glasses hang around his neck. White hairs spring from his eyebrows. His head is shaved; crow’s-feet pleat his eyes. He’s wearing gray sweatpants and black slippers and a navy blue sweatshirt. His handshake is warm and enveloping.
I join Wright at the kitchen table. He folds his hands over the blue tablecloth, jiggling a vase of cut flowers. A batik depicting the Last Supper hangs on the wall.He leads me through the living room, books stacked everywhere, a shelf of knickknacks—an ostrich egg, a collection of dried gourds—and into the kitchen. He pours me a cup of coffee. Wright’s wife, Rosário, wanders in. They have two children, a 25-year-old son, Marco, and a 20-year-old daughter, Sara. Rosário is wearing a tan sweater and blue sweatpants and pink Crocs. Her hair is trimmed in a casual bob. She affixes me with a judgmental look.