Their ears are large
Their feet are small
They haven’t any chins at all.
But I think mice
Are rather nice.
—Unknown children’s book
Marion’s fingers are a little bit longer than warranted by such a slight body and her joints point sharply. The effect is elfin. And rather like mice, she doesn’t have any chin to speak of.
“What was the most beautiful part of your day?” she will ask you, beaming, delighting in your hesitation, your uncertainty. When you can’t think of what to say, resort to deflection: turn the question back to Marion and she will give you an immediate answer. The moment a crisp banjo string snapped under her fingers, perhaps, or the ravens’ chaotic involvement in her afternoon at the dump, or better yet, the cold pepperoni pizza a lady in green covertly shared with her upstairs in the bookstore. When all you do is blink Marion will throw the thinnest arms around your neck, calling you adorkable […]
Much like a stick figure pressing onward through the squares of a cartoon, Marion walks bent too far forward at the waist. She must be nursing some protracted ailment of the lungs — perhaps her ribs are too fragile to properly house the meager collection of vital organs impossibly lodged inside her paper-thinness. Should she ever straighten her shoulders and throw back her head one can only assume her skeleton would snap dryly to pieces like uncooked spaghetti noodles. But the image may be unnecessary: recent periods of adolescent homelessness and indigence all but confirm your hunch that Marion suffers from some unmitigated pulmonary disorder which causes her to bend unthinking from the waist even as she springs from this side of the parking lot to that and back again. Full essay in issue 30.