Last week, The Dinner Party landed in San Francisco, where six gals sat down for an end-of-summer feast in a Berkeley backyard. On the menu: fried green cherry tomatoes, kale salad, and fried green peppers, all courtesy of our hostess’ exploding garden. With glasses full and candles lit, we dove in: two sisters in our circle had just returned from their grandmother’s funeral, and so we talked about what is to relive past loss with every new one. We talked about depression—about friends who had or were going through hell, about the feeling of complete paralysis that comes of watching the people we love go through it, and about living through the same. I had just returned from my stepdad’s wedding; Carla’s dad, Jose, would have turned 58 that day; and one in our company had lost her dad just weeks before. The conversation flowed along with the wine, and hours later, as the dogs reminded us it was time for bed, we parted company with more than bellies full.