For nearly an hour the woman and I dueled over a place in the line inching toward the check-in counter at the Denver airport. I nudged my suitcase ahead with my foot, while her son, at her urgings, tried to push his suitcase ahead of mine. I wouldn’t let him in. Yesterday a man had cut in ahead of me at a gas station, and today I would yield to no one. The victory, however, was the woman’s, for just as she reached the counter she seemed to pop up from nowhere with the family luggage already on the scales and tickets spread out before the clerk. As I watched her enter the electronic surveillance unit, I was burning with rage. Suddenly I heard someone call my name, and Marion Peters, the nurse who’d once cared so lovingly for my mother, appeared out of the crowd. “What on earth are you thinking about?” she asked with a laugh. “You look furious!” As…
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