San Francisco, Aug. 2

The Richmond train driver is usually a jovial sort, often announcing the destination as “R-R-R-RRRRRRRICHMOND! RICHMOND TRAIN! RRRRICHMOND!”

But not tonight. Tonight he simply called out the endpoint flatly, almost morosely.

I knew it was him from his distinctive voice even though I’ve never met or seen him.

It made me pause in my reading and look up and around the train car to see if anyone else had noticed.  A sea of faces absorbed by screens.

I went back to my book and reread the same paragraph three times as I wondered where his joy went. I wished I could ask him what was the matter. I wished I could tell him that I noticed. That someone was paying attention.

Berkeley, July 19

I mailed my letter to David Sedaris today. Actually, it’s still sitting in the mailbox and I second-guessed myself and about went and stole it back out. It would really be something if he wrote back!

Just before sealing the envelope, I enclosed a feather from one of the parrots, adding a postscript, “Juliette made you a pen.” He likes quirky. Will he take it that way? Enough to reply?

On the way home on BART later this evening there was a black gentleman on his phone bitching about his sister-in-law. He said he wished he could simply say to her, “Love yourself. Love your chocolate self.”

How delicious a sentiment.