Scenes from a Manhattan cafe at 7:50 a.m.:

— I walk in to get my morning coffee. The guy knows my order. It occurs to me that I deposited my paycheck the day before but forgot to hit the cash machine. I have exactly $1 in my wallet. The coffee is $1.35. How embarrassing, I think, to have to charge it. I look down at that moment and there is a dollar bill at my feet. I pick it up and pay for my coffee with 65 cents to spare. Man, I love that.

— I sit down with my coffee and my morning pages journal, as I do most mornings. Two tables over, there are two 40-ish guys having a conversation in Italian. One of them checks me out rather blatantly. I try to concentrate on my writing. I understand nothing they say to each other except “Marilyn Monroe” and “fox.” Man, why didn’t I ever learn Italian?

Life is funny, I think.