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  • I'm situated with my book at the little South African restaurant, eager to dig into peri-peri wings and some slaw, washed down with sauvignon blanc. Karoo Kafe is busy tonight, the lines long and seats scarce. It is Bear Week, and those boys take up a lot of room, so I've moved from the long counter where I feel I'll be edged over and taken up as one at a table for two. With an empty seat across from me, I can't really balk when the woman asks "would you mind?"

    Generally, I would. Tonight, I don't. For the first few moments, we keep reading, eating, commenting only fleetingly on the need for napkins, the pleasant breeze. But after a few exchanges, books and newspapers are abandoned as we begin to swap stories of girlhoods in Cornwall and New York City, 70-odd or 30-odd years ago. We talk of husbands, of children grown or not yet conceived, of the death of manners, of games of I Spy in the backseat of cars, of choosing our lives, of disappointments and delights. We share french fries and wine. We laugh heartily. We walk together in the evening's sea breeze and make a date for gallery openings and free wine on a Provincetown Friday night.

    Thank you, Pat.
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