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April 9, 2005
"Excuse me, Miss,"Mrs. Wertheimer says to the lumpy girl in the tollbooth, "but how much does a token go for these days?-

Mrs. Wertheimer is proud of herself for knowing of this thing called a "token-.

The girl's ornately decorated, many-ringed fingers continue to disappear into a small bag of barbecue potato chips, the thumb and forefinger acting as pincers, the remaining three fingers spread like a delicate fan. This is the only grace the girl possesses. She smacks her lips. Her heavy-lidded black eyes stare into Mrs. Wertheimer's carefully-lined grey ones.

"No tokens no more,"the girl mumbles.