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...she had long ago made the decision to be nice, she said, because it was civilized, and that was important, so they called her crazy, her children, because it was crazy to be nice, wasn't it, yes, I think so, it must be, and makes no sense, unless you hang out with people who've made the same choice, and WHERE were they today, these nice people who used to be everywhere but now seemed extinct, she said, using the word as if to invoke comparison with dinosaurs, and now, only her gay friends were loyal and nice, so, no, it was the world that had gone crazy and her children with it and not her, there was nothing wrong with her, except the balance thing and yes, she had fallen, and her shoulder still hurt and did I know a good orthopedist, she needed one to write a letter to get her back to therapy.
Fifteen years had left her little different. She was heavier, and shorter, but her hair was the same dark blond, only now streaked with gray, her eyes still refusing to be either green or brown, her nose beginning with Italianate promise but ending with Irish bluntness in a miscast, vegetable shape that cut too much nostril, reminding one she'd been stylish, once, but not never, ever pretty. Drawing a raspy breath, she went on.
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