Roaming the exhibits at the Minneapolis Museum of Art, our unnamed diarist is captivated by the Veiled Lady, a marble masterpiece by Italian sculptor Raffaelo Monti. Monti creates the illusion of fabric, a veil clinging to the face of the virgin and allowing her delicate features to peek through.
Our diarist can’t stop thinking about the sculpture. She drifts into the museum café, where the barista recommends an Italian treat, the affogato. Rich, creamy vanilla gelato is scooped into a clear glass mug and drowned in hot espresso. Hot and cold melt and mix in a sublime combination of bitter and sweet that leaves our diarist energized by the hit of sugar, caffeine, and blooming obsession.
She leaves the museum but the visit stays with her. So much so, that she orders a resin replica of the bust to sit atop her fireplace mantel. She tries versions of affogato at every café and coffee shop she can find, though none compare to that first.
Our diarist will soon lose these memories, and more, becoming the Veiled Lady, obsessed not with art and Italian treats, but with tearing away her own veil. The features beneath are indelicate, corrupted by rage, and there is no frozen sweetness to temper her acidic spirit.
Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Angela!