Eve had the kind of beauty you know you’ll remember forever.
Some faces just fade, minutes after you see them, and then there are others, those faces that hold something unexpected, something you’ve just never seen before. Like wonder. Or tragedy. Or deep surprise.
When I saw Eve the first time, we were both in a college class – it could have been Milton, it could have been Keats – that’s how much I paid attention. She was across the room, looking out the window as though she could see something the rest of us just could not.
We lived in the same megadorm where people crammed into every cranny, and there, we became friends, inseparable for a while.
We both had the Living in New York idea. She grew up in a small town in the south, NoWhereville, she called it. I was from the same kind of place, a New England factory town with a thin crooked river dividing the town in two. After graduation, we each found our apartment, a sixth floor walkup in a building where more than one of the inhabitants juggled. More people juggled then.
Our apartment was small, but there was a couch, one of those deep velvet Goodwill couches that many people had, where visitors lived for weeks on end.
Eve was an only child. Her mother was a southern lady who’d call each morning and ask her the same question: How are you, honey? She meant ‘Are You Married Yet?’
After her first futile fiancé, Eve decided she’d get a job while she studied acting. One week in class she was even Blanche DuBois.
Her first job was selling Lancome perfume and makeup on Bloomingdale’s first floor. The first floor is always a party, and everyone who walks through is invited.
That idea suited Eve. So did the free bags and many samples. Before long we had a lifetime supply. On the perfume floor, handing out her samples, wearing a dress that made her look like Good Witch Glenda, an adult version of a tutu really, she met Contender Number Two, a man named Barry.