I can't tell if she's in middle school or high school: she's a nice looking kid with a sweet smile. We pass each other, she on the way to the bus stop (i think), and i on my way to work, and we've taken to saying hello, or nodding. Today she was barefoot, with a tinkling chain around one brown ankle, carrying her shoes. I prefer to think of her walking barefoot than hobbled in those stylish shoes.

My uncle, president of the company, turns 50 on Wednesday, but they had cake for him today. It seems so contrived - all the silly Over the Hill lines, gag gifts, black wrapping paper and mylar balloons. As if people did not care enough. People don't care enough. It's another gesture, and the given script is good enough. Accept the proffered scripts. They're good enough. Whomever wrote your role must know something you don't to have that power. Right? Anyway, it's just a job, they're only shoes.

Except the world is made up of just these small parts. Just that. Little sensations and decisions and ad libs.

Tell me a story about being really alive. I could really use it.