I was born Maria Carlotta Silvana Giotti, but in the mid-eighties, I legally changed my name to Eve. Just Eve. It signaled a new beginning, a chance to put everything behind me.
In the seventies I was young and wild. I sipped herbal teas, found bliss in yoga, and fell madly in love.
With a poet, dark and brooding. Everyone said he would only bring me trouble, but I ignored them all, certain his tender, sensitive nature would emerge in time. He only needed the right woman. Me.
He never found a publisher for his poetry, no patron, no acknowledgment, and with each rejection letter the darkness spread. Finally it spread to me. My mother told me a woman can’t change a man, can’t go into a marriage thinking that with just a little more love, a little more caring, things would be better.
She spoke the truth. But in time, I believed his truth as well. That I was the reason he couldn’t write, couldn’t concentrate. That I deserved the screamed insults, the thrown dishes, the infidelity, the bruises.
One night, alone, in tears, I realized I could look forward only to more of the same, and I would die in a hail of punches and kicks. I decided, if he blamed me for everything, even when I was innocent, then I may as well be guilty.
I buried him in the garden. My garden, my original sin. And as Eve, I left the garden.
But this time I walked alone.