Tuesday, November 21, 2006
All About Eve
Not so many years ago, I had a student named Eve who wore a flack jacket to school almost every day filled with spent ammo shells. She carried around plastic grocery bags filled with books, papers, clothes, and God knows what. She'd set her bags down around her each class, forming a barrier between her and the other students and often came in late, apologizing underneath her breath. I couldn't discern Eve's age -- she could have been anywhere between forty and sixty and learned over the course of two semesters that she lived in her van, that their were "people" out to get her, and that she'd taken piano lessons as a young girl from the one person in her life who had been kind to her and gave her what she considered the most fantastic advice of her life: If you don't run, nobody can chase you.
Eve was the kind of student that other students mocked because of her appearance and the weird mumbling monologue that she kept up, even when she was talking to you. She had an oddly deferential quality that kept me a little uncentered -- I couldn't quite square it with the flack jacket and the ammo shells that kept falling down around her. But I had an exceptionally kind creative writing class that treated her well, and I edited her writing (which had its moments). As per her stories, though, she became disenchanted with all of us (her main theme in her work was how people betray her -- I should have been warned that there was no acknowledgment of any of her own complicity in any of these tales). I worried that something had happened to her as this was one of the very few cases in which I was completely befuddled as to what had happened to make her turn away. I saw her one more time, standing by St. Donald's Church, all her bags in hand, waiting for the bus. I felt relieved and sad. Once in class she'd brought in a color picture of an ovarian cyst that she'd printed off the internet. The story we read had dealt with one -- and it was just as described, with teeth and hair, something that had been growing for so long that it had become an intimate, vital part of someone. The woman in the story did not want to part with her cyst and kept it as decoration. It sounds strange, but I assure you, I'd seen stranger things.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"That's what they said Prozac would do for me! I never before could have imagined I could sustain twenty-one kitties in my studio apartment." Stacey Richter, My Date With Satan
Drinking movie suggestion: Home For the Holidays
Benedictions and Maledictions