Without a watch or clock, I had no clue what time it was. It must have been near midnight, but I wasn't sleepy. Anger roused me. Anger at the people who had put me here. Anger at U.S. policies that gave my captors a pretext to accuse people like me of plotting against the Islamic regime. Anger at God.
"Why are you punishing me?" I whispered. Is it because I complained to you last night about my life? I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. Please help me. Where are you? Why have you abandoned me?
I was also angry at myself. I had been such an idiot to think that my research wasn't that risky, that I would at most be interrogated and not land in prison, that Iranian intelligence agents would be rational enough to see the harmless nature of my work, and that they would believe me if I told the truth.
A few tears of self-pity trickled down my cheeks as I lay awake for what seemed like hours. I wished I could turn back time. I would have never begun writing a book about Iran. I would have left the country in 2006.
"Aaa-eee!" came a man's anguished howl from somewhere in the distance.
What a terrible, terrible place!