Story — From the July 2013 issue

May I Touch Your Hair?

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A special family lived around the corner from us at our beach house. How were they special? There were three children when most other families had two children.

As a surprise to everyone, including the parents in the family, later on there got to be four children. That was one way they were special. But there were other ways, too.

Other families lived up the block and down the block but my mother and father were friendly with the mother and father of this family because they had higher I.Q.’s and were more intellectual. The father was a doctor, an obstetrician, and when we visited them at their winter house, the children of this family would take my older sister and me upstairs to their father’s study to show us secret medical books. There were illustrations, in color, of all the female reproductive organs, and they were thought by the doctor’s children to be something secret and wicked and hilarious.

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is the author of Do the Windows Open?, Happy Trails to You, The Unprofessionals, and Was This Man a Genius? Talks with Andy Kaufman.

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  • Peter Mork

    Whenever I get my new Harper’s out of the mail, I always go right to the table of contents and check to see if a new Julie Hecht story is in there. This is actually a very Julie Hechtish act of faith, like her narrator (and even though it’s fiction, everyone who reads her assumes the narrator is really her) turning on the TV to see if “The Stranger” with Orson Welles and Loretta Young is on – you never know. Well, it took 14 years but today I got my faith rewarded. Thanks.

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