Something about Mary, Part 1
I have a neighbor, whom we will call “Mary” because then every 20th person in the United States will think this story is about them.
Yesterday, I walked by Mary’s apartment after finally cleaning all my stuff out of my old classroom. She was on her balcony.
“Hey!” she hollered.
“Hi, Mary!” I shouted back. I waited for Mary to ask me if I had any cigarettes. I used to run into Mary every single day on my walk to the high school I taught at – and every time, she would walk over to me, say “Hey!” and “Do you got a cigarette?”
“No, Mary,” I would always say. “You know I don’t smoke.” But Mary asked me every day anyway. I like this about Mary. She is cheerfully obstinate in the face of reality. I thank God for her every time I see her.
Yesterday, she asked me a new question.
“You get any snow?” she asked.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve been following the weather here in Seattle or not. We’ve been on national news because of a months-long drought. And it is, after all, August. So I had to stop walking to free up some processing space in my brain.
“No,” I finally computed. “I didn’t get any snow.”
“How about weed?” she countered. “You got any weed?”
“No, Mary! I don’t use it!” I called back, as my brain finally kicked my feet back into motion. “See you later!”
“Bye!” Mary waved, eternally happy.
When I got home, I had to go online to learn what you may already know: snow can also refer to cocaine.
Dang, I thought. Now I have a new reason to pray for Mary, my joyful Mary, my Mary that is like a child who doesn’t know what’s good for her.