I came into her shop just as she was flipping over the sign from OPEN to CLOSED. We made eye contact; her fingers flexed the plastic sign so it bowed in the middle, snapped back. She was sizing me up, I thought, trying to work out if I was worth staying open for. I raised my mouth into the sort of smile I make when I’m thinking too hard about smiling. She just stood there, and I watched her jaw muscles stretch and roll beneath her skin. The sign flipped, stayed, shook a little bit.


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