Exiting my car at the sidewalk, a man sitting on some nearby stairs said “you look so kind!” I said “I try,” but it was hard to hear over the sound of my heart bursting. I think it was my sunshine yellow shirt what tricked him so.

Leaving the office, my boss’s housekeeper offered her traditional “be careful,” but this time she poked her head from around the corner and gave me the “I’m watching you” double-fingers. Is this yet criminal menacing?

On a flight several days ago, I sat next to a woman who held a pillow in her lap during take-off. I looked over about twenty minutes later and she had nodded off sitting up, neck at a 90 degree angle to her shoulders. The pillow remained on her lap. I reached up and turned off her reading light—the plane fell dark. Hers was the only light on.

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.

from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut