I got to Kéan. Italian Cappuccino. In a brown cup that I want to call neither a cup nor a mug. Mug sounds American; this cup seems Italian. It’s smaller than a mug.

I sit. One of the tables along the window. So I could face the people in line. The line is always very long at Kéan.

I write. Then I watch them. Then I write.

I have this thought: Each person is like a movie. 

My life is a movie. So is yours.

Then I have this thought. Some people believe in free will. They believe we can direct our own movie, in the same way Steven Spielberg directed Jaws.

I think they are wrong.

Because things happen to us, along the way, during the film. Stuff we can’t control.

So our movies — to a certain extent — are written by outside events. If you have doubts, think about something that happened to you. You didn’t choose your parents. You didn’t choose where you grew up. You didn’t choose your health, or that of your loved ones. And you didn’t choose your age or your height or your complexion or your body shape. But these are all part of your movie.

Yeah, I know, we can choose how we respond.


And sometimes we just react to events without even thinking. We yell at our kids. And those who think we can choose how we respond, every single time — in the same way we choose from a restaurant menu — are guilty of oversimplification.

Firemen. Two of them. In line. Two thirty-something men with the fluorescent yellow stripes on their baggy mustard colored pants. The pants with kneepads. With their names in fluorescent letters on the leg. All caps. KIM. MCCART. And walkie talkies.

We respect firemen. People who save people.

And then little girl ballerina in her little pink tutu and her bear and her and mommy reaching for her hand as they rush out the door.



Each person is like a movie.

Especially her.

Then I wonder where she’ll go.