Like my friend Lucy says, “in four months a day like today will seem balmy”. I don’t really care. Today it is really cold, and each day it promises to be even colder. We’ve been having a really great time on the bus. In a few days, I’ve had beautiful conversations with mentally ill men about my fabulous new boots, I’ve met women applying clown-like make-up at the bus stop and I may have talked a bus driving into trying my yoga class on Sunday. Riding the bus is good for my business, good for my fiction, and good for my psyche. Sure, it’s cold. Sometimes it is a little smelly. . .what motivates people to shower in perfume? I’d rather sit next to a man who hasn’t bathed than a woman who doused herself in Charlie. And, don’t get me started on intensely scented dryer sheets and laundry soap? What is the point? Clean is a much better scent than perfume. Trust me.

Today the buses were rerouted around the funeral procession for the Park Officer that was killed in the line of duty. I heard the bells ring. I felt the city’s grief as the buses turned off of Hennepin to make their way around the enormous procession. I’m not generally a fan of police officers, since the murder of my cousin by one of New York City’s worst. But I’m trying to soften. When I was having tea with my friend yesterday, she told me that she worked with his wife, and he became so much more real. And, then, I went to the news station website and saw the slideshow of the funeral, I realized how tired of crime that I am. This city seems to be on fire, just when the weather should be cooling us down. Unconscious parents leaving their cars running illegally. Cars getting stolen and crashing into people and cars. Stolen bikes. A string of rapes by the same kid. An Park Officer killed just doing his job. What are we doing to help breed this next generation of criminals? And, what are we doing to help a kid make a different choice?

The other night, on the way home from a class at The Loft, I met a sweet kid who was trying to get home. He was just released from the JDC and had no clue on how to get there. He was 14. Sweet, sweet 14 year old boy. I made him call his mom. And told him to stop lighting fires. Maybe I made a difference with this kid. Maybe not. At least I tried.

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