He told me he wasn't living outside but pinched his thumb and forefinger together to demonstrate how close he is. He said he liked to read real things, said "There's enough fiction already," and gestured in the air around his head. When I asked where he comes from originally, he said something like, "A place your country drops bombs on." I said, "You're going to have to be more specific, because I think we've got more than one these days." When I asked "Iraq? Afghanistan?" he said, "Yes, in that neighborhood." Massoud said that he was very glad to be here, and that America was a truly great place. He said there are many inspiring people here, doing good things. He opted out of a photo, but gladly held his book for a shot -- somewhere in the city of Portland, I hope Massoud is making a carrot beet salad from a recipe in his book.