From the American Scene: Cats and Christmas Trees
SELMA APPLEBAUM and I are neighbors but not friends. We’re not a pair. When my father saw her he said, “A pretty little woman! She makes me think of a new-born calf.” I’ve been likened to many things, but never to a calf.
Selma and I grew up in the same apartment house in Brooklyn, under a cloud of depression that was not an era but a world. We played in a sour-smelling hallway in winter and on our adjoining fire escapes in summer. It didn’t trouble us, however, because we knew no other world and had no one to whom we could compare ourselves.
We clung to each other because we were the only two girls, the same age, in the house. We tapped signals on the radiator pipes to wake each other in the morning and tied vital messages to a string that we lowered from her window to mine directly below.
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