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As the crowded room began to spill out of its doors and back onto the sidewalk, she detected every sound as if it were singular instead of one with the clamor. The call of the orders. The shifting of chair legs. The utensils on plates. The gossip between friends. The small talk of a blind date. The persistence of the lonely in need of conversation. The silence of a family who had their fill. She sat at her corner table and heard it all.