There’s Something about Mary, Part 1

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.

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