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Last week on the train to Ostia, Christine and I wedged ourselves into a little group of four seats: two suitcases, two backpacks, a camera bag, and a grocery bag.

The train sat in the station for ten or twenty minutes, and eventually a little old lady came on. She motioned to the seat next to me. We struggled around to make some space for her. Wedged together. So awkward. So apologetic.

The train still sat, and an older man got on and made straight for the seat by Christine, across from me.

I was mortified. He huffed and puffed and sat down. I tried to tug my suitcase closer to my knees. No, no, he motioned, dragging it back towards him a bit (a whole quarter-inch) See?, he eyebrow-ed, pulling a book of word searches out of his bag. See? He held it up, and plunked it on the suitcase. A perfect desk.

What good-will.

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