Zina & the Playboy Under My Pillow

Zina was our cleaning lady throughout my childhood and teenage years. She was from a Portugal and had a family to which my mother gave hand-me-downs and other extra and leftover things. She was kind and caring, and I am sure that I was a jerk to her.

I came home one day to find my bed changed and nicely made, as Zina always did, and then suddenly realized that I had left a Playboy magazine under the pillow. I figured that Zina would have thrown it out and probably told my mother, and removed the pillow to find it still there, neatly replaced.

And of course Zina never said anything to me about it.

Zina was also the only person I remember crying at my father’s funeral. She wrapped her arms around me and sobbed. Nobody else did that. We were a stoic family and didn’t do such things.

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