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touches of life

I sat outside Uptown Espresso with my iced Americano. I don't understand why coffee places charge more for iced drinks when they usually consist of less of the product and more ice. I can't imagine it costs them more to make an iced Americano than a hot Americano. Certainly it doesn't cost more to make an iced latte,which seems to have about half as much milk in it as a hot one.

So there I was, watching people come and go and stay. There was a group of student-aged people, Goth-inspired, unnaturally black hair, some striped Ts under black Ts, high-top sneakers, gathered around one table. Maybe eight or ten of them, talking about "characters". I finally realized they were talking about creating characters for a game. I don't know if it was Dungeons and Dragons or a computer game or what but they were talking about it like it was some kind of mission. Later, most of them took off, leaving three, one of which was a young woman who was actually knitting something.

Their voices took my attention until I noticed the birds again. One lighted on top of the barrel-tile roof and raised his little head (I am sure it was a male because he was a nicely-colored little sparrow, and the females are usually drab) to cheep to his friends. The usual din of sparrows and other birds then came to me in a rush and I wondered if anyone else noticed the sound. The trees on the downtown streets (I think some are carob, I am not sure what else, but they are large now) are dense and provide good cover for a large number of cheeping birds. It's a wonderful sound.

I read more, engrossed by Caldwell's life, increasingly disenchanted with the man and his fixation on blaming others for what goes wrong in his life, even when it is clearly his own fault. I'd love to talk about this biography with others, but want to read Tobacco Road first. It sounds like it's going to be a hell of a hard read but it's short.

I went from there to Scolari's to get some milk and a few other things, including some wild bird seed. The seed I filled the feeders with just yesterday - wasn't it yesterday? - is almost all gone. I can see how these little guys go through so much, with the manic way they fly all over the place, driven by a force I don't understand. In the market I met a guy from my dance class. I am pretty sure his name is Tom. He joined just a few weeks ago, is in his forties and quite shy and very new to ballroom dance, really quite a sweet guy. I told him about my knee and he said I had better stay off it until it's well and then come back, and I said it was nice seeing him. And it was.

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