I’ve been away from Fairfax all of five hours and already there are things to report. Not what I expected, after only two short bus trips on Golden Gate Transit and a train hop from Richmond to Martinez, where I’m waiting for the Coast Starlight to Seattle.
Today I noticed a lot of kindness in the world. So much that I wondered if I fell into an alternate universe, some sort of gratitude vortex. There was the disabled and not altogether sober man who boarded the bus in Point Richmond and the bus driver who didn’t kick him off, even when he didn’t have the fare. Then there was the woman a few rows back who stood up to pay his way. Still the bus driver wouldn’t take any money. “It’s all good,” the driver said, while the man tucked the gifted cash into his pocket with an unsteady hand. The gift giver didn’t want her money back. A man who got off the bus at the next stop thanked the woman and promised to pay it forward for her.
And these people at Barrelista, a cafe I wasn’t even looking for in Martinez. I just needed a place to wait for the train. The guy behind the counter, gloriously tattooed from his wrists to the back of his shaved head, saw my pack and asked if I was traveling. I said yes and as he poured me a blueberry iced tea he invited me to sit as long as I liked. About ten minutes later another man came out from the kitchen carrying little plates of fresh baked pastry that he set down in front of every customer, just for the joy of sharing. I offered mine to the guy nearest me, because I don’t eat gluten, and he lit up. “Really?” he said. Then, “Do you want my fruit?”
I swear, it’s amazing out here. Now if I can only remember this on the other kind of day.
Gotta run. Train’s coming . . .
P.S. Real quick. A few people have been confused about why I’m taking this trip without Stewart. But it’s only this part I’m doing alone, because I wanted the adventure. Stewart will fly to Fairbanks and meet me when I come into the station there. Then we’ll head out to the cabin as usual.