Eve’s Ribcage Essay, Research Paper

Eve’s Ribcage

Eve’s bedroom was the only place in the world that Josh felt comfortable. The bare and slightly yellowed walls held a certain mysterious wonder for him. The key to the room’s beauty lay in its bareness and simplicity, like old Mexican monasteries with terra cotta tiling on the roof. Josh preferred to keep the lights off and the blinds cracked so that the afternoon filtered in through the window, making thin picturesque rays of light. They painted Eve’s body in long soft strips of sun.

When she reclined on her side in the way that she did it reminded him of those nature documentaries that film a lioness lying around in tall grass all day, waiting for dumb animals with long legs to run by and get killed. She was all taut muscle under brown skin accented with bold shadows, a delicate but solid frame slowly rising and falling with each breath. Eve’s feral qualities manifested themselves in her face especially. That strange expression she had: a mixture of pain and pride, boredom and beauty. Her face was always beautiful, no matter what expression she chose to wear. Her sad almond eyes would stare through Josh and beyond into deeper things. This made him want to ask her what she was thinking about, but he rarely ever did. April’s answers never shed light on the mystery of her melancholy and oftentimes they seemed to push him further away.

Now she lies with her back facing him, the contour of her naked body a soft watercolor landscape of hills and valleys. He feels like a tourist lying beside her for the last hour or so; absorbing her, analyzing her, thinking about her. She gazes into heaven and talks to the angels while he lies beside her and marvels like a man who has at last reached the end of a long holy pilgrimage.

Share my world

Don’t you leave

Promise I’ll be here

Whenever you need me near…

Mary J. Blige croaks out her sultry ballad softly in the background.

“Eve…” Her name echoes and makes him feel he as a separate entity all the more acutely. “You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m just tired.”

“You want me to leave?”

“No.” Silence…Josh wishes she would turn around. Sometimes it’s like Eve simmer in her own thoughts, they bubble up and around her, totally enveloping her. He doesn’t blame her, of course. If he were Eve he’s lock himself inside her beautiful little world and throw away the key. He imagines that her thoughts must look like Monarch butterflies flapping around her head like a dancing halo of living color.

“What’d you eat today?” She makes a weird elephant type sound which indicates that she doesn’t know.

“You wouldn’t be so tired if you ate something. You know, like food?” Her skin looks like the face of a drum drawn tight over her rib cage, and the fading sunlight seems especially eager to point this out to Josh. Josh extends both his index fingers making little mallets and with them plunks on her ribs as if they were a xylophone. As he does this he tongue-clicks the intro to “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid.

“You’re not funny, moron.” Eve says casually.


Eve twists her body and Josh thinks she is finally going to turn and face him. Instead, she shifts her weight and props her head up against her arm. The story of the princess and the pea flashes through Josh’s mind. Eve eats peas sometimes.

“I have rolls on the back of my neck when I turn my head this way.” Eve demonstrates. “They look like sausages.”

“I thought everyone had those.”

“So you admit I have them, then.”

“No. Ignore what I just said.” Smooth. Stupid.

“I don’t like my body, Josh.”

No matter what they are doing, or how much fun they are having, the conversation always ends up like this. It is almost like they are speaking from a script sometimes. Josh doesn’t feel like dealing with this now.

“Eve, let me tell you a secret.” Josh waits for a response but doesn’t get one, so he continues. “I don’t like my body either.”

The slumbering beauty doesn’t turn around to face him. She makes a slight movement however, and the muscles in her back ripple. It reminds Josh of the face of the lake where he used to skip rocks with his dad when he was younger. Eve never met her father.

“You don’t like your body?” Eve’s back demands. Eve always tries to smear everything over with a layer of nonchalance, but Josh picks up on her curiosity immediately. He has a sixth sense which deals exclusively with detecting fluctuations in Eve’s emotional state.

“No, I don’t like my body. I always wanted bigger breasts. Mine are too small, and I want them to be perky like yours. You make it really hard for me sometimes. I get jealous, you know?”

“You’re joking. What would you do with breasts?”


“No, now I’m not too sure if I want to know.” He expected her to say something like that. He’s glad, though, familiarity is good sometimes.

“If I had the kind of breasts I wanted I’d probably wear a sports bra.”


“Yeah. Nothing but a sports bra. I’d run around and find things to smash into…I’d probably start with a big handball wall. You know the sound handballs make when you smack them up against walls? Just like pop!, you know?” He flicks his tongue against his upper lip and makes a loud popping sound. Josh is pretty fond of his tongue.

“Just like a handball against a wall. And then I’d ride the A-train at rush hour and bounce around like a pinball. That’s what I’d do.”

The Lioness stirs in the grass, turns to face Josh and exclaims:

“Oh God, you’re such a dork.” She laughs and kisses him gently.

“Thank you.” Josh loves when Eve calls him that; she has to be the only person alive who still uses the word “dork.” He appreciates the laugh too.

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