“How long have you been here? In gollyland.”

It’s not the first time I’ve been asked this. I get asked this more than anything else, but it never gets easier.

I try not to show it, my anxiety, as I say, “All of my life.”

“Well, let me tell you this much,” she says with a look of surprise, before winking, “I don’t detect any accent.”

This too, I’m told all the time. Somewhere between the relief and paranoia, I mutter my thanks.

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