When I was in third grade my family lived in a big yellow house on Comanche Road. We had a great big yard and all the neighborhood kids used to come to our house. At one point, a new girl moved into the neighborhood a few houses down from mine. She was tall and tough and had an accent I had never heard which I recognize now as seriously Staten Island.

She told me her name was Marie, and I asked her to repeat it.

She said, “Marie,”

and i said, “Murry?”’

and she said, “Marie!”

and I said again, “Murry?”

and she said once more, “Marie! not Murry!!”

I thought about what she had said and still was unsure of the difference. This introduction was starting to get uncomfortable. I decided we should move on from names and play on the swings. This was fine until I had to introduce her to my mother, and I said, “Mom, this is Murry,”

She never came to play again.

Sorry Murry, if you ever see this, I get it now, Marie, like Mary but not really…


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