A Pretty Girl

“Philamel
So rudely forced.”

T. S. Eliot

La femme jolie.

I wonder at the stirring of women upon the arrival of a pretty girl; the darkening of countenances, the changes of posture. The men are good natured. They make small talk: pleasant, fatherly, unassuming. But the women must verbally fix her clothes (which are horridly well-straightened) and comment upon her hair (which is neither too long nor too short) and ask her where she is from (hoping very much she will go back soon). I always smile sharply (mostly in my eyes) upon the arrival of a pretty girl.

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