To get and keep your attention, I have to write an introduction to the story. However, the first sentence is not captivating so I must try again, Somewhere near Los Angeles in an adjoining city, three friends are having a conversation and brunch in a modern cafe that resembles the restaurant owned by Mildred Pierce in a James Cain novel. When one enters the cafe, one sees desserts on display and tables filled with customers who are eating various items on the menu too numerous to describe here. As one enters another room, there are booths on the left and right, three friends are sitting at a booth next to the wall. One of the friends is visiting from another town.. The other two live in the city near Glendale and Burbank. The waitress walks up to the table and asks if they are ready to order. The one visiting from out of town says, ” I’ll have the scrambled eggs, hash browns and the blueberry muffin. The other two order something similar. The waitress takes the menus and leaves. One friend was talking about the horrible time they had while visiting Baltimore.. He says to the others” Maybe, it’s just me, everyone there was rude- they didn’t seem to care about making a first, second or third impression. Also my car was broken into and some valuables were taken. This might explain why I have a low opinion of the place,.” One of the other friends spoke and said” When they decided to call it the Charm City, were they being sarcastic? “. The three friends laughed.

After they had finished eating, the plates were taken away by the waitress. The two friends from the city had eaten everything that was on their plates. The person from out of town left a small portion of scrambled eggs and hash browns on the plate. The reason he did not finish the meal was not that the food was not good but the conversation was so interesting that he would rather listen than finish eating. The blueberry muffin was quickly devoured, it was filled with blueberries and freshly baked. Through years of traveling, he had tasted muffins but none were as delicious or memorable as this one. After receiving the check and paying for the meal, the three friends left the booth and headed for the door. When they were outside , they headed for the car that was driven by one of the friends who lived in the city. The other friend who lived in the city sat next to the person driving. The friend from out of town sat in the backseat. They were going to drop off the friend who was visiting from out of town at the hotel where he was staying. The cafe was several blocks or streets away from the hotel. The passenger in the backseat noticed that the streets were filled with people. The passenger observed a lifesize statue of a dog outside a pet shop that was confusing a real dog. Every time he or she wagged their tail. The other dog would stand there motionless How rude! The area near the cafe that was filled with people was a big contrast from where the person was staying. There were not too many people on the streets, except for people walking through the gardens of the nearby churches. The hotel was located in a more upscale area, designed for tourists, it must have not been a tourist season. As the car approached and then stopped in front of the hotel, the passenger in the backseat who is a writer gave the two friends a book of essays that he had written. After opening the door and saying goodbye., he said to his friends, ” I could write a story about my visit.” The other friends agreed, one saying ” You should do that!”. A few months later, he did.

When someone takes last circle around the sun,

gone away from here and never returning.

They will never feel the wind on the freeway

or dance in moonlight beneath the desert skies.

Those who remember them will have emotions,

like the music that can make one smile or cry.

A photo of someone playing their music

will keep their memory alive as we ride

into the night onto freeways where we find

hope and light through songs playing in stereo,

their music becomes the soundtrack of our lives.

The songs survive after players fade away.

Now who is the one

who is always there,

always seems to care,

wakes up from a dream

to help you through night?

He is the sweet one,

the one who loves you,

walks you to the light,

makes sure you’re alright.

When you need someone

to help you up or

help you sit down right,

can always depend

on him by your side.

He is the sweet one,

the one who loves you,

walks you to the light,

makes sure you’re alright.

One you can depend,

above and beyond,

he never gives up,

never lets you down,

good to have around.

He is the sweet one,

the one who loves you,

walks you to the light,

makes sure you’re alright.

The paucity of thought happens

when people have the audacity

to offer words of advice when

their opinion was not asked.

They mean well in their attempt to

show sympathy or empathy

but the hopes and well wishes could

be better said by being kind.

Sometimes, it’s better to listen

than to think you know the answers.

It’s knowing when to leave than how

much time spent, not competition.

Converse about something other

than their condition, they know.

Talk about what they enjoy most,

their families and their hobbies.

Offer hope and understanding,

the assurance of better times,

have patience and encouragement,

patient will appreciate this.

Beneath a starry sky

with city lights below,

you standing next to me,

a perfect place to be.

We can forget about

what troubles us today.

Wind is blowing behind,

smell the flowers in air,

we can find some peace here,

walking in summer’s garden.

Beneath ocean blue sky,

underneath umbrella,

you sitting next to me,

we can walk across sand.

Mango trees sway in the

tropical island breeze.

Wind is blowing behind,

smell the flowers in air,

we can find some peace here

walking in summer’s garden.

I have waited since sunrise

to hear your voice, see your eyes.

When sunset comes, no surprise,

left in the dark with your lies.

We keep playing hide and seek,

love is never to be found.

Keep looking, get the feeling,

you do not want me around.

You’re making it very clear,

love will never happen here.

Time to find someone somewhere

who will care and love me back.

We’ll be playing hide and seek,

love is going to be found.

and we’ll solve the mystery,

will be no more lonely sound.

I have so many memories and stories in my head trying to get out, remembering is easy, the hardest part is getting the memories and stories written in a journal, electronic device or on the Internet where the whole world will have access to your private dreams and thoughts. It is a risk that I must take occasionally. This is why I do not tell or reveal everything . I need to have dreams and memories to keep to myself. With that written, what should I write about in this essay? I have to have an opinion, subject or topic to keep your interest. I will find one or several. How about this? Write about meeting famous or not so famous people that I admire. I have some more stories.

Years ago, I was working at a library in Beaufort, South Carolina. While shelving books, I was introduced to the essays of David Sedaris who has influenced some of my essays. His essays were a mixture of fiction and nonfiction about his family growing up in North Carolina. He also wrote about his experiences in different parts of the world. One of my favorite essays of his is ” Go Carolina” which is about having a speech impediment and his interactions with his speech therapist. I could identify with his writing because I have had similar experiences. When I was young, it was great to be called out of class and do speech exercises. As an adolescent, it made me aware that I was different, this made it less fun. I reread the essay numerous times and still enjoyed the essay. Ten years later, I was living in Greenville, South Carolina and working at another library. David Sedaris would be performing at the Peace Center . I was trying to save money and living on a budget. Plus, the night that he performed, I was working . How could I see him and tell him how much I enjoyed his essay? I found my answer. After each performance, David Sedaris would sign books after having a question and answer session with the audience. All I had to was sneak inside and I would wait in line with a book for him to sign. That is what I did. Except by the time I left work and made it to the Peace Center, the person selling his books had put almost all the books in the van. I asked him if I could purchase a copy of ” Me Talk Pretty One Day” which had my favorite essay. Then, I snuck inside and waited in line with my copy of his book. It was a very long line. Before arriving at the Peace Center, I may have had a few glasses of soda and water at a local restaurant. When I approached David Sedaris, I realized that I had to use the bathroom, I told him very fast how much I enjoyed ” Go Carolina” and I gave him my book to sign. When he gave the book back to me, I made a quick run to the bathroom where I relieved myself. After washing and drying my hands, I wanted to see what he wrote in the book. He wrote, ” I’m so happy you’re alive.”. Then, I walked out into the night and towards my home.. I still have the book. Whenever I feel sad or unsure about myself, I read his inscription and I feel much better . Plus, the experience gave me a great story to tell you.

I had this friend who was a waitress at a restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina. Whenever she would wait on me, we would have discussions about writing. She was a fan of Trevor Noah who is a comedian from South Africa and is the host of The Daily Show. I was not that familiar with him but began to watch The Daily Show and I enjoyed his work, It was announced by the Peace Center that he would be coming to Greenville, South Carolina where he would perform. One of my last conversations with my friend who was a waitresss, I mentioned that I had tickets to see Trevor Noah. Her face lit up, she gave a big smile and was excited for me. She was planning on getting tickets to see him. Inspired by our discussions, she had begun writing again. I looked forward to reading her work. A few days or a week after our conversation, my Dad mentioned that he read a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page that she had unexpectedly passed away, I was in shock but was happy that our last conversation had been pleasant . Months later, the day arrived, Trevor Noah would be performing that night at the Peace Center. Remnants of a hurricane were passing through, one minute there would be rain, the next minute or some minutes after there would be sunshine. I decided to go early and have lunch at a Chinese restaurant on Main Street. When I walked into the restaurant , it was raining heavily outside. After finishing my meal and walking outside, it was a light sprinkle of rain with some sun coming through the clouds. When the light turned green and the sign said ‘ Walk”, I crossed Main Street to the other side of the street. I noticed a couple walking up the street. The man looked very familiar. He was Trevor Noah. I caught their attention by saying hello and asked him if he could take a photo with me. I having this annoying habit of turning my phone off when I carry my phone around whenever I walk downtown or go somewhere. After agreeing to take the photo with me, he and his friend were very patient while waiting for the phone to turn on and be able to take a photo. Trevor asked me why I keep my phone off. I told him, ” I was not expecting to see you!”. He thought my comment was humorous and laughed . His friend took our photo and I said something that made them both laugh. I thanked him and his friend . Other people started noticing them. I tried not to draw too much attention to them. He and his friend did not have to stand and wait with me. They could have said that they had other plans. This could have been my late friend’s gift to me, a bright moment on a rainy day. My good fortune did not end there. The rain started pouring down. When I reached the Peace Center, even with an umbrella, I managed to get wet, The manager of the restaurant next to the Peace Center, let me inside so I could dry off. I sat at a table and decided to send Trevor Noah a tweet, I thanked him for being patient and kind, I pressed the send key and thought nothing more of it. After I arrived home, I noticed that I had many notifications on my phone. Trevor Noah had replied to my tweet. He wrote ” Thank you for making me laugh so hard Andy, you made my day!”. I was amazed that he responded and I was amazed at how many likes the tweet received. The tweet received over a thousand likes. Again, it might have been her way of letting me know that others enjoy my sense of humor. This was another great experience to remember and another story to tell you.

These are some experiences or stories that might interest you, memories of meeting some people I admire. Remembering is easy, the hardest part is writing everything and making sure what I have written makes sense. I am glad that the people I admire have given me words of encouragement and a memorable experience, If you have patience or persistence and are genuinely kind to people, you might receive a similar response, Then, you can share you story with others and me.