Living… in New York City with Ms. Spinney. Eben will never forget his day of arrival, how desperate he felt in the face of the world’s indifference. He was at rock bottom, without friends, money or hope. Food only satiated some of his hunger, then.
Profession… painter. There's an urgency to painting that's missing today that he’s trying to communicate through his work. Eben believes that if you must paint an ice cream cone, you’ve got to paint it like a rocket to the moon. Or as he puts it, “Paint the ball of ice cream as if you were licking a bomb with your lips.”
Interests… catching up with Jennie. It’s so strange how each time he sees her, she's changed. She talks about things that happened long ago. Eben can't understand it and neither can she. She thinks it has something to do with her past, but she can't say what.
Relationship Status… set, now that he has Jennie. Eben and Jennie already have images of marital bliss: “We'll go out to the Forest of St. Cloud in the spring, and drink new wine under the trees. I feel as though we were already there... as though we'd been spending our whole lives together...Were there others, in other times of the world, whom we would have loved and who would have loved us?”
Challenge… living up to his potential. Eben knows the difficulties of the artist’s life, how so many before him suffered so much more. But they knew they were great. That undying faith immunized them to any hardship. Eben’s problem is his insecurity over having anything worth saying.
Personality… sensitive. Eben’s emotional turmoil threatens to overtake him. Maybe it's the artist in him. He hopes Jennie could be his salvation, but even he must concede that something very odd is going on with her. Is he strong enough to get to the truth – whatever it is – and accept it?
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