You had never heard anything like her. Wait, you had, but you just didn’t know it. You heard her long ago on Schoolhouse Rock singing about figure 8s and adjectives:
Maybe that’s why she appealed to you so immediately and so deeply. She was a beloved guest at your dinner parties — an almost unbroken attendance for the past 15 years since the moment you (re)discovered her in your early twenties. She sang, sang like no one else with that weird little girl voice over the chill piano and rush of the brushes. She sang your favorite interpretations of some of your favorite songs. She got you through your terrible tongue and your temper for two. She was raised in a lion’s den, and her nightly occupation was stealing other womens’ men. She was with you on the Friday evening cocktail, the moment you were too tired to write another word. She made you cry when she sang her wistful “Manhattan” and the “isle of joy” after the terrorist attacks in 2001. She guided your kitten dance around the living room to “I Won’t Dance” (Monsieur, you are so light on your feet! Vous êtes gentile et je vous aime, c’est vrai!). And she made you LOL, recognizing your own Playboy-reading, “Mack the Knife”-singing, suede shoe-wearing, swinging aliveness in elitesville, in her mockery of hipsters:
They say it was May that made her daft as a daisy, that gave her whole world this crazy, heavenly hazy hue. She was a lark, a wing, the spark of a firefly’s fling. And we loved her.