My favorite grade school teacher was Miss George (the title Ms did not yet exist) in fourth grade. I had a crush on her, though I would not have thought of it that way—I had many crushes on boys. She was of Greek descent with mounds of black hair and beautiful copper-colored skin. I tried to strike up a friendship by following her around on the playground softly talking to myself, thinking that might provoke her to ask me what I was talking about. When that didn’t work, I went to her apartment on a Saturday morning, thinking she might invite me in for coffee, which I had yet to taste. She lived in a building near the shopping center. She answered the door in her robe, clearly startled to see me. I don’t remember what we said but I do remember that she wore gold slipper-sandals; her gleaming red toenails stuck out. She did not ask me in. Years later, when I mentioned her to my mother, she said, Oh, that woman! I did not like her at all! She was a bit of a nut, tried to tell me you had serious problems and walked around talking to yourself.
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