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A Consequential Coming of Age

After half a lifetime of dating, one woman realizes her most torrid affair had been with a girl—whose brash style had indelibly influenced the woman she'd become

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  • "Okay, let's go for a walk," she said. Except that it was more like a parade. Larissa seemed to know every kid on every stoop. She greeted each one with a kiss on both cheeks, and when she introduced me, they kissed me, too, and I tried not to look startled. There was a girl named Nicole who had a scar across her forehead because, Larissa later explained, she'd been in too many fights. There was a boy named Angelo whom Larissa chased through the basketball courts and smacked across the face after he called her "Sweet Ass." And Tiffy, who lived with her father, a prison security guard, and two younger brothers in an apartment that smelled of cats and beer; they called each other "Boo: and "Hon”"and "Mama." At some point we'd stop at a deli and buy 25-cent "juice drinks" in small plastic barrels and a "loosie"—three cigarettes for a dollar. By then it was dark out, and my mother, somewhat concerned when I called after 9PM, came by bus to pick me up.

A Consequential Coming of Age
After half a lifetime of dating, one woman realizes her most torrid affair had been with a girl—whose brash style had indelibly influenced the woman she'd become
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