I wish I could sketch but my hands are mere dullards when put to test. Her visage begs for capture, not in facsimile or rendered pixel, but in seasoned illustration, fine dripping watercolour and thick oils sensually applied. I want to tear charcoal from the earth’s ash and smear it over canvas busts built in her image. Ten thousand hours per honed craft could never account for the sheer art of her existence. I want to dedicate myself to learning expression, pure, masterful, and crafted, focused on the labour of acknowledging that her crystalline beauty is irreplicable and unique.
Julien lowers his lens and looks for long enough to make me feel truly uncomfortable. ‘Something isn’t right,’ he says, the sound of scree tumbling. I tell him it’s the subject not the artist, hoping levity will save me. He doesn’t say anything, for long enough to make me feel truly worthless, then the lens is back, a thousand shuddering frames. As I lean into it, loosen up and smile again, Julien tells me, ‘No. You’re only beautiful unhappy,’ and looks for long enough that I can truly believe it. I stand there and let his aperture devour me.