La Cenerentola: the desperate wish to be seen as beautiful

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She didn’t want to leave the kitchen. As she posed, I thought of some other dreamers of kitchens: those models who live, for the sake of their beauty, on cigarettes and black coffee. In pity, I picked up my camera. “Well,” I said, “let me see you.”

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Then I shooed her out. Afterward, at the computer, I discovered that her face in closeup was immobile and vacuous, defined not by soft feather or bright eye or metonymies of song but by a connotative range of the bony word beak. But as she flew past my face she taught me that she simultaneously was living within an undepictable cloud of fragrance.