Kindness From Canada

B hustled up the steps after work one evening late last week and tossed an envelope onto the bedspread next to me. The envelope's return address was in Canada. "What's this?" I asked. B shrugged and so I picked up the envelope, ripped through its seal with my forefinger and pulled out a floral-print greeting card out of which tumbled, onto my lap, two Barnes & Noble gift cards and a handwritten note, a portion of which read:

I received these gift cards but I cannot use them because they are U.S. cards. I so enjoy your blog and I thought maybe you would enjoy some new books.

I considered those words for a moment before glancing up at Bevan and then back down at the card. "Well how fucking awesome and nice and special is this?" I said. B just smiled.

After the initial glee-fog passed, I grabbed a pen and a thank you card, composed a heartfelt note and stuffed it into my backpack to send out later before logging onto to procure each and every book on my summer reading list.

  • Everything Changes by Jonathan Tropper
  • How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper
  • Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  • The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
  • Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

All seven books arrived at my office in a big box on Monday morning and I cracked open Tropper's Everything Changes on the train ride home that night and I'm halfway through it now and I'm gonna chip away at the rest of 'em before bed and during lunch breaks and in cars and on planes and in Michigan and in P-Town and here in SF until they're done, all the while recalling that damn special moment involving one truly kind gesture inside of a floral-print greeting card from Canada.

Gail, if you're reading this, thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm still smiling.