“We’ve received word,” was what she liked to say when she was good. When she was bad, she cursed or she cried or drank more of whatever low calorie libation she was slugging. She pulled herself up and pushed herself into taut shirts with torn stockings.
Her bleached hair was cropped in layers with a horizontal pillow of white hanging blunt over her lashes. When her eyebrows were exposed—they were typically covered by her bangs—they seemed to hold a permanent arch of distain. She had a tattoo of her sign, a gemini, behind her ear. She painted on wide bands of gray around her eyes and her lips were never not glossed. She was tall and thin, the type of nearly flat-chested woman who wouldn’t be taken seriously if she had a bigger chest. But she didn’t, and you could see the ribs down her chest in her low-cut shirts and the notches down her back. She didn’t appear to diet, but always looked thinner than the day before, until I was sure one day she would vanish all together and I would be left to explain what had happened to the incredible skinny woman. She oozed smoke and she radiated sex appeal. When she wielded her camera, she was deadly. When she spoke, her eyes dug into you until you gave her your complete attention. When she drank, she was a calculated bomb.
She drank though lunch and straight through to dinner, during cocktails hours and parties, through bars and late night holes, until her liver had been burning through alcohol for twelve or fifty hours and her body gave out and she’d hail a cab to her loft, often sleeping in the backseat. I’d be awoken be a cab driver pounding on the doors, holding her frail body up with one arm and her license in the opposite hand.