Perhaps she sits with skin that only knew talcum powder and light touches, here and there, one on the shoulder, and again on the thighs. Her hands knew how to please her own body. Secret spots where she would almost go into a trance when remembering where she was the softest, how the hard ridge of her hip bone rubbed against the skirt. Late mornings when the sun was glinting over the adjacent rooftop and the city traffic, a heavy presence, rushing up to her new city apartment in sporadic, lustful waves, she would tend to her toiletries with serene femininity. Small doll-like hands would gently splash water on her face from the ceramic water basin. An ivory comb that was a gift from a gentleman caller from long-forgotten times would part the thick waves of her hair. Small dabs of heavy perfume were dabbed with delicate cadence and with precise order: neck, breastbone, and wrists. A body that knew many hopes and dreams; perhaps born of many close encounters with a warm, masculine body who pressed close in a dance in her youthful excitement. Perhaps it was born in several exhilarating experiences where she only knew her racing heartbeat, pulsing breath, and joy from heart to lips. A moment where she knew that she was her own woman, and her tender years were folding over on itself and turning into something more, and unfolding out again, transitioning into a most elegant and feminine lady.
The photographer was said to have pursued his higher studies in illustrating. Like art deco of the classiest nude woman, he knew that poses he wanted to explore. Like a montage of blissful inspiration. Perhaps it was the opportune merging of the flashy Mr. Ziegfield and the serious, but the quiet gentlemanlike quality of Mr. Cheney that carried the dreams of a young American girl in New York City to create the Ziegfield Follies. A rumor that was creating a buzz in the city’s night scene with their cigarettes, roaring businesses, hopping jazz and liquor induced frivolity, big time Mr. Ziegfield saw the talented Mr. Cheney’s portfolio and hired him on the spot. Flashbulb flashes and you were already seeing stars. An interesting contraption of a metal box and a light bulb. She would marvel at it and he would smile with that quite a modesty that she was used to seeing on him, and he would touch it lovingly in only the was that the artists’ skilled hands could manage. She would smile a little at the demeanor of the talented married man. A small flutter of wistful disappointment would send her heart twittering, and then it was gone. He was always the perfect gentleman and made her safe and welcomed. The jewelry which was probably her own was encouraged to be worn. The photographer visionary wanted to capture her personality, her essence. The soft, supple skin of her legs and thighs pressing against velvet and only the look of dreams in her eyes. The studio had an ethereal quality to it; with the careful lighting of the man behind the camera could envision and with the errant sun streaming in through the windows. The vision of glorifying the American girl in this intimate group produced a surreal serenity. A harmony of the senses.
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**More interesting insight into The Ziegfield Follies and Alfred Cheney Johnston Here! The fascinating story that Charlie of Transverse Alchemy wrote about those two fed into my inspiration for the imaginative short story of this soft-looking mystery woman. Check them out!