Our friend the evolutionary biologist was visiting from New York this past weekend. We met him in San Francisco on a rainy Saturday for a brunch of crab-meat benedicts and mimosas. He’s a snazzy dresser (button-down shirt, sweater, slacks, glossy oxfords), heavily bearded, wears glasses; personal interests include weevils, pulp science-fiction novels, and espresso.
A couple days later: After a wait of forty minutes and a per-vehicle fee of $15, we cruise the park to admire the Christmas light displays. The children sip hot cocoa in the back and we listen to The Chipmunks. Elves peek from behind trees. Santa, in a boat, whips a fish from the water straight into the mouth a waiting pelican. A teddy bear rappels down a giant candy cane. Around a corner we surprise a dozen dinosaurs of precarious holiday relevance. T-rex screams. Brontosaurus only munches his electric salad leaves.
Our family cat is sixteen and has never received a letter. I’m posting her one from the office today. It comes, ostensibly, from another cat she knew years ago in Seattle, a full page of punctuated ‘meows’ with a paw-print for signature and photo attached. Won’t she be surprised. My five-year-old daughter collects the mail with me each evening.