Biking to work is one of the great joys of my days here in LA. When I have time, I linger over coffee at a neighborhood Peets on the way. This morning a little girl and her mother were sitting at the next table, the mother absorbed in her iPhone. The little girl said, "Mommy, look at this," but the mother did not glance up. The child continued to ask her mother to look every three or four seconds, escalating in volume over several minutes. The little girl finally resorted to shrieking, but the mother's eyes and attention remained riveted to the phone.
A few more blocks into the ride, I slowed when a parked car seemed poised to pull into traffic. The driver rolled down her window and motioned to me to ride on. "You're all right," she said. "I see you."
The woman's reassurance stayed with me all morning. So did the little girl's shrieks.