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From where I'm standing on the el platform, I can read the shopping list an attractive, tallish girl in her late 20s is making: hard rolls, lettuce, Diet Coke...

A man approaches, and they share a friendly embrace. It's been years and he's leaving to take a new job in Texas next week. Still single? Why yes, me too. Friday OK? Sure, see you. The train is coming, but as he walks away she pauses to add one more item to the list.

Condoms, she writes.

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