- The boys at first were very polite about my medals and asked me what I had done to get them. I showed them the papers, which were written in very beautiful language and full of fratellanza and abnegazione, but which really said, with the adjectives removed, that I had been given the medals because I was an American. After that their manner changed a little toward me, although I was their friend against outsiders. I was a friend, but I was never really one of them after they had read the citations, because it had been different with them and they had done very different things to ge their medals. (In Another Country; Hemingway)
The glass door of a row of apartments on Martin Luther King Jr Dr in Berkeley has a printed sign for the mail delivery person. It was clearly written, almost childish, not as regards the writer but rather the intended reader.
Look here, it says. Packages cannot be left outside the door. When packages are left outside the door, they are stolen. If this door is locked, then knock. If no one answers, then the package should not be delivered. Under no circumstances should deliveries be left outside the door, because packages left outside the door are stolen.
Thanks for your comprehension.
It occurred to me on reading this that practically everyone living in this building, and perhaps most other buildings in the neighborhood, had at least one degree from UC Berkeley. It occurred to me, and perhaps also to the writer of the notice on the door, that the mail delivery person had not one degree from anywhere.
Upstairs is where our kids, Em and Casey, live, and they last night were hosting a New Year's party. We brought orchids and oranges and nuts and dressed in red. We sat for a time, all the parents, Em's and Casey's, building some exotic fish and pork dumplings, maybe two hundred of them. Casey and I went for ice. Then the guests, some attractive and dynamic folks, began arriving. They were from Em's work, Chez Panisse, and some from Gerwick's, the engineering firm where Casey works.
After the time of the dumplings, and due to Niki J's social skills and my lack of them, I was left alone. I feel that less now than before, still... She was in the kitchen with Em and Em's mother. Em's mother Merrill was a bit self-conscious, she said, because everyone there practically was an accomplished chef. She needn't have worried; the grub was festive and delightful. I had a spicy salad of shiitake and leeks and tea eggs and sasparilla and then I sat and smiled and watched.
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