The corner store on Flower Avenue was owned by a friendly Japanese guy, and usually staffed solely by his friendly daughter. For two or three years I popped in there pretty much every other day to get cigarettes (the healthy kind, with no artificial additives). Then I quit, and I didn’t go there for months. When I did show up, the daughter said, “Hi! Not see you for long time!”

“I quit smoking,” I said.

“Congratulations!” she said exuberantly, extending two thumbs-up. Then she glanced around her little store, and looked back at me. “But you know, we have other things you can buy.”

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