Joe Brown

On Staten Island, it seemed like the kids I knew were always moving away. My best friend, Star, left at the end of second grade. I loved her name, I loved her giggle, I loved her chattering and her curls. I loved her tall, deep-throated father who would bring their mutt, Mister, in the car to pick up Star after school. He was the only father in a sea of mothers outside the schoolyard. Sometimes he would drive us back to their house, and Star and I would do homework with the radio on and Mister dozing on Star’s bed. We made bracelets from lanyards, we played jacks, we memorized our state capitals.

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