Sadness has settled in my neighborhood, at least for me. My main soy-latte-making-man Howard has parted ways from my local coffee shop. It's a total bummer for me. Going in there was such a nice start to my day, and Howard and I would shoot the shit about hip hop and the web and all kinds of stuff. I first started, or attempted to start, going to the Hugo Street Cafe over a year ago. And I went in every day (this was pre-Howard, of course). And the guy that worked in there failed to recognize me. I don't mean that he didn't know my drink, or name (like Howard did), I mean, that kind of thing does take time. But with this guy, it was like he'd never even *seen* me before. Same guy. Blank stare every morning. It was disconcerting, it were as if I didn't exist. So after about a month, I gave up going, it was too unpleasant. Some time last fall, I checked back in. And met Howard. There's something really nice about walking into a place every morning and having someone say, "hi Meg!" and start making your drink without even asking. It made me feel part of my neighborhood. It made me feel part of a community. It made me feel part of something greater. Even though I wake up alone in my bed every morning, going into that cafe reminded me that I wasn't alone in this world. And that feeling gave me the confidence to start my day with a smile.