PW: I’ve heard it said that infidelity can often be blamed on the circumstances that provide cheaters with the opportunity to cheat, such as business travel. What do you think about that?
CM: There could be something to that. I personally believe that humans are not biologically wired for monogamy, but rather that being with one person is a conscious choice we make for the benefits it provides to a relationship, for social reasons, and because we understand empathy and jealousy and emotional pain. So, yes, context matters, and some contexts are more difficult to navigate than others. This idea certainly speaks to what happens in “Into the Taglamig,” but the context of travel in this story is loaded with more than just Monty’s distance from his family; it is also a story of white male privilege, of colonialism, of an American abroad thinking that he is entitled to anything he wants, without consequences. Sure, Monty thinks Filipina women are hot, and the wifey isn’t nearby, but that’s not all that’s going on here.