The Unstoppable Woman’s name was Marlene. She wrote it down for me once, when I was smaller; she looked the same as she did now, except for maybe a thin scar on her neck that is there now but I didn’t recall when I was smaller, and faint wrinkles around her eyes that made her look not so much old as seductively wise - the words I used now that I could even comprehend seductive wisdom. I pronounced it for her benefit then, out loud, as we stood in the post office as she opened letters with her name on them: “Maaaaar-leeeen”, with a childish grin.
"No, kid," she said as she looked down at me, her face between a disappointed scowl and an amused smirk. "Mar-lay-nuh. You know, like the actress.”
I never learned what she meant until Wikipedia was a thing. I just went flipping through it once, when I was older and Marlene was away, as she’d usually be. I found the name, and it sent me reeling, kind of missing her, all of my young man’s crushes on her bubbling to the surface and scalding my mind until I looked for more of it, of her, to soothe my curiosity. She was speaking of Dietrich. Marie Magdalene Dietrich - I noted those first names, that ‘Mary of Magdala’; that’s what Marlene meant, ‘of Magdala’. Marlene. Mar-lay-nuh.