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  • When Gemma stood next to all the foreign women at the party she felt a tangible gracelessness. With her arms looped over inferiority and her sixth glass of wine, what played out before was like an advert for United Colours of Benetton. When she smiled you could see two full octaves of piano key teeth. Her hair akin to a brillo pad, only jazzed up with a clip in the shape of a flower. Her skin was full of old acne craters and her boobs hung like punch bags with the air knocked out them. She didn’t work in media or know any ‘hot new openings’ going on that week. Gemma hadn’t even been to a gallery, ever, and those years in which this party learnt about culture and style, Gemma was busy critiquing the manner in which she applied make-up. Since aged 13, she’d done it the English way.

    With a trowel.

    “acqua e sapone” mocked an Italian woman from the corner of the room,
    “soap and water honey, soap, and, water”
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