Is there anything better than a plate of delicious little tarts and a good book of interesting poetry? I’m sitting in a lovely little cafe called Le Pain Quotidien near Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, enjoying my sweets (pictured above) with a cup of Earl Grey tea and a book of poetry by Aracelis Girmay called Kingdom Animalia. I picked the book up at a local bookstore called Kramerbooks (also in Dupont Circle) a little over an hour ago. I know a lot of people dislike eating alone in public, but I love it. The sound of conversations is like music. To my left, a young woman is meeting with her realtor to discuss what she is looking for in the home she wants to buy. To my right, two middle-aged women are chattering away in Portuguese, their conversation punctuated by laughter and cappuccinos. Life, all around. Behind me, it passes by along the sidewalk. It’s a pleasant afternoon, and I’m enjoying my solitude among the crowd.