The kindness of strangers, the vicissitudes of life, the merry-go-round at the mall
Just one time I had done something nice. Just one time I had left some forlorn teenage girls an offering of chocolate and words, and suddenly I was the local pedophile. I hadn’t left them Fifty Shades of Grey.
We were born in Michigan. We were born in California. We were born in Italy. We were born in Florida, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Canada. We grew up with money. We grew up on food stamps. We grew up with enough money to buy food but not enough to forget what every mouthful was costing our parents. We ate whatever they put in front of us. We had to be bribed and cajoled.
In the fall of 1991 I was the lowest-ranking waiter at a steakhouse in Hampton, Virginia. My sole transportation was a Honda 350 motorcycle — halfway between a street bike and a moped — whose chain slipped at the most inopportune times.