My Close-up in Patrick Demarchelier's Studio

I took a deep breath. I contemplated my education. Then, I said the only thing worth saying: “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

Until I saw Billy's studio, I never guessed at his highfalutin' connections. But when I exited the service elevator to see a sweeping Chelsea loft, bedecked with blown-up _Zink_ covers and cardboard Cindy Crawfords striding off to some invisible tomorrow, I began to suspect that there was more to Billy than met the eye.

A short, dour Japanese man, Billy led me over to the minibar and opened his portfolio. I immediately lost my head around the folds and swirls of cooters—a veritable Sahara of black-and-white, three-foot-high cunts. I doubt my boyfriend could pick mine out from the pile.

"Billy," I asked, catching a breather from the Georgia O'Keeffe action, "is this your loft?"

"Nope."

I gazed around at the magazine covers, the books filled with the collected works of Patrick Demarchelier, and the 20-foot soft boxes, and—imagining the probable $20,000-a-month rent—realized that I was in the great fashion photographer's studio.

Then Billy led me over to the bed.

A self-designed vagina-photographing bed sounds gynecological. It really isn't. Rather, resplendent in red velvet, I lay back with my knees parted. Billy had also built a miraculous camera, with huge bellows and two-foot sheets of film. Were my position less clinical, I would have felt as though I was posing for Man Ray.

As it was, I took a deep breath. I contemplated my education. Then, I said the only thing worth saying: "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille."

A flash of light. I'm immortal.

I don't model anymore. I'm a bourgeois illustrator and email jockey, and I refer to my posing days with a bit of a sneer.

But sometimes, if I'm in a swank club, or surrounded by some Manhattan media vultures, I want a little bit of glamour. In that case, I just tell them I was photographed in PM's studio.

I just don;t reveal what part of me was shot.

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