Dressed in a coat of French tweed, shod by a Florentine, she waited on the subway platform, her real life as masked as those of the people who strolled past her or leaned against the blackened scarred shafts that supported the ceiling.

Then to her dismay, her eyes filled with tears. She found a handkerchief in her bag and sheltered behind a cold-drink dispenser. There, she found two messages; one, written in chalk, said: Kiss me someone, and the other, scratched with a key or a knife, said: Fuck everybody except Linda.

Desperate Characters, Paula Fox