The 44th stranger I interviewed over dinner, back in May 2012, was with someone who really didn’t want to meet me. Kay Cameron was a part-time volunteer with the Washington Literacy Center, which teaches literacy skills to adults in the District of Columbia who read below a fifth grade level. I’d emailed the non-profit eager to learn about its work from one of its volunteers, and they roped Kay in despite her reluctance to dine with a stranger. “I thought, ‘Oh god, that just sounds horrible,’” she told me.
Nevertheless, we had an enjoyable dinner at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café in Dupont Circle. We’re both British so reminisced about life in the home country and about our adjustments to life in America. And Kay had a great sense of humor and was soon at ease with this stranger, telling me about her volunteer work, life in DC, and her family’s plans to eventually return to the UK.