Early in July, I heard Mama telling Mrs. Fernandez in our kitchen, “I haven’t seen Mimi Johnson for a month. Have you?”
I strained to listen from my hiding place outside the window as Mrs. Fernandez whispered, “Mr. Johnson’s wives always disappear.”
My friends and I didn’t care. Mr. Johnson was nice. Every Fourth of July, he gave us fat slices of watermelon and let us sprawl on his lawn while he set off fireworks. Gigantic homemade jobs, all bulky and a couple feet tall. It was so funny—this year, he even named them.
“Kids, this one’s called ‘Screaming Mimi.’”