I think about when I was moving to Thailand and got rid of all my stuff. I was at my bar drinking and watching football when a nice boy offered to refill my beer cup from his pitcher. Who can resist an offer like that? I don’t remember his name, but I’m 98% sure it was some generic boy name like Matt or Mike. We hung out a few times before I moved and I gave him my leopard print Snuggie. I haven’t seen him since. I wonder if I’ll ever see him again. Would I even recognize him? Would he offer to give me the Snuggie back? Would it be wrong to ask? Those few months before I moved was such a weird and fun time in my life.

I also think about all the homeless people in this town. They rarely bother me and often even give me compliments. I’ll never forget one older man who asked me for money. I was on my way to the coffee stand with a $5 bill. I didn’t respond the first time walking by, butt gave him the change from my coffee on my way back. He was so sincerely thankful. He smiled and waved every time I’ve seen him after that. He’s never asked me for money again.

There was another woman who walked by while I was spraying for ants around the fence in the alley. You really never know what you’re going to get when you say hello. She told me that she was trying to find someone to watch her dog. She had just found out that her mother had died and she had to get to Nevada. I don’t know if it was true or not. What I do know is in that moment she was genuinely heartbroken and didn’t want for anything except for someone to talk to.

I walked by a different group a few days later on my morning walk. They said, “Good Morning,” so I said, “Morning” back. One of them responded with a big, “Thank you. I’ve been saying good morning to people for 30 minutes and you’re the first to say it back.”

There’s only a few that have ever made me uncomfortable. One guy I see regularly always gives me the grossest stare and an even worse vibe. He asked me if he could walk me home once. I said, “No.” He started to taunt me asking for reasons why. The last thing I heard him say was, “That’s right! Because you can’t think of a reason!” Oh, really? I can’t? There’s all the regular reasons–I’m not even on my way home, you’re a complete stranger, I don’t want you to know where I live, it’s the middle of the afternoon and I don’t need an escort. The first reason to run through my mind, though, was that he always looks at me like a fucking creep that wants to rape and murder me.

A disturbing thought like this lingers for a bit. I start to think that I’m a bad person for thinking it, and why did I have to decide to walk down this street right now? Then I wish I said it out loud to him so maybe he stops looking at women like that. Then I want to scream it so everyone on the block can hear. Then I think that maybe I’m a racist because this guy just happens to be black. Then I wish that I was ugly or morbidly obese and disgusting so men would never look at me again.

Then I think about which will be the best way to walk when I actually am on my way home so that I don’t run into him again. Now I’m crying about the whole situation and feel like I need a shower.

I’m thinking about why I can never turn down a free drink. Even if I don’t need it, even if I’m on my way out the door. Am I an alcoholic or am I just really, really nice? (Don’t answer that, please.) Also, why do people buy complete strangers drinks? It never crosses my mind to do so and is kind of always a surprise when someone offers. I rarely even offer to buy my friends drinks. Does that make me a bad person? (Don’t answer that, either.) Is there a special type of person that buys a complete stranger drinks? I wish there was a better system. For example, when someone offers to buy me a drink I would like to be allowed to say, “Sure, I had a vodka last Thursday. It was three bucks and I left two for a tip,” and then they give me a $5 bill.

I think about how good it feels to appreciate and love something you don’t have. I ran into a friend who used to be more than a friend. Of all the men from my past he will always be the most beautiful and one of my favorites. Our timing was always way off. He recently got married and when I asked him to remind me of his wife’s name he said “Kate” by mistake. It took my breath away for a second because that is my name and not his wife’s name. I know it didn’t mean anything, but I loved him so much in that moment. I loved who we both were and who we both are now. I loved that we never worked. I loved that we can talk about it. I loved that he found someone to love and marry. I loved that I don’t have him or anyone else in my life like that, but knowing that I could and having gratitude for it before it even happens is one of the first steps to getting there.