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Reader to Reader

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An older man sits on the front stoop of a single-family house, a pair of large binoculars and a small but clunky-looking radio at his side. He stares up at the sky, his eyes scanning right to left. Some low chatter comes from the radio.

A passerby stops, listens a second, and asks, "That an aviation radio?"

"Yup," says the old guy, whose eyes never stop their search.

"Listening to the O'Hare flight traffic?"

They both look up at a loose line of airplanes in the hazy, blue sky.

"Looking for anything in particular?"

"Yup," says the old guy. His eyes drop briefly and for the first time he sees the passerby. "The wife and I listen to the British Airways flight nonstop from Heathrow. Comes over about 6:40 every night."

His attention returns to the sky. He picks up the binoculars and holds them up to his chest.

"It must have gone over already, about ten minutes ago," says the passerby.

The old guy looks at him, lowers the binoculars, and turns and shouts up to the house, "Rachel!"

A moment later the face of an older woman pokes out of the upstairs front window.

"Whatcha want?" she calls down.

"We missed it already."

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