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  • One thing among many my daughter and I have in common is that we are café people. While she was going to school in Long Beach, her café was Viento y Agua on 4th St. When she first moved to Long Beach we were both students, her an undergrad, me a graduate student, so when I came to visit we would sit in the café for hours doing schoolwork. Even when we didn’t have work to do, we would go to the café and read and hang out, and since she was a regular and is someone who makes friends easily (something we don’t have in common), she would know and I would be introduced to various people. These times were the some of the happiest days of my life.

    Last June she graduated from college and was immediately off for Brussels to teach. When she was doing her undergrad, she did a year abroad outside Marseilles, came back, then a summer in Germany, then back, so I was used to her leaving. But this time I knew she would not be coming back to Long Beach. Indeed, there would be a very good chance that we would never live near each other again. She may come back to the US, but she’ll go to grad school wherever, and then get a job wherever. But most likely I would never be able to jump in the car and drive up and hang out a café all day.

    I put her on the plane at LAX, and started the drive home. And as I began my drive home to San Diego on the 405, I found myself pulling off in Long Beach, and back sitting in the café. I ordered a cup of tea, sat down in a big comfy chair, put my sunglasses on, and started to cry.

    Today I began my Budget Press distribution tour up the coast, and this was the first stop.
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