Mira* is an executive assistant at a major brokerage firm in Manhattan that you've certainly heard of. She makes good money and has a nice TriBeCa apartment, but her passion truly lies in the fine arts, which she studied as an undergrad at Barnard. While Mira graduated with honors and won a minor award for her thesis, "Untitled (Garbage Broom)," she never quite made the splash she'd hoped for in the cut-throat Chelsea gallery scene. Curators told her she lacked "panache."
The criticism haunted Mira. "Garbage Broom" was lauded for its bold brush strokes and unprecedented use of spermicidal foam, not to mention the difficulty of transporting and maintaining its several thousand live silk worms. Panache! Who did these slick-nailed buffoons think they were?
The dullness of her job paired with the sharp pain of rejection might have conspired to crush Mira completely, if not for one bright spot at the end of each day, the thought that made all the memos and obsequious smiles and coffee runs worth it: The Breads.
Mira has loved breads for as long as she could remember: Hard breads, soft breads, rolled breads, sliced breads. It wasn't just that she liked bread as bookends to sandwiches or tossed haphazardly on the side of a pasta—it was that someday, when she died, she wanted to be buried in a coffin made of bread, head laid to rest on a fresh sourdough roll, a wreath of hamburger buns forming a sort of aureola around her peaceful visage. Mira loved bread so much that a loaf of pumpernickel—perfect in both weight and chewiness—once reduced her to tears.
So every day, after work, Mira walked to one of the city's innumerable bakeries and selected for herself the day's bread. The stress of the preceding eight hours melted away as she handed the clerk cash for her challah or rye or flax seed masterpiece, and she felt her pace quicken as she hurried toward the subway. By the time she slipped the key into the lock of her ground-floor apartment, her heart was thumping in her chest and beads of sweat were forming on her forehead.
If you've never experienced the sheer Dionysian ecstasy that comes from pressing your face into a sweet Hawaiian roll, well, as far as Mira's concerned, you haven't really lived. Day after day, week after week, Mira plants her face into her breads. Sometimes they crumble; sometimes they remain perfectly intact. Always, always, the sensation is ineffably, exquisitely satisfying. Mira posted videos of her face-breading to her Instagram; a hold-over habit, she guessed, from posting photos of her work during her art school days. She never assumed anyone would see them, and that was certainly never the point. The sensation of the breads was always enough, and the promise of a new yeasty paradise, however fleeting, sustained her day after bleak day.
As Mira was getting ready for work one day, she saw her phone light up out of the corner of her eye. She ignored it—until it flashed again. And again. Hundreds of people, none of whom Mira even knew, were sharing her work. It seemed some internet blog had recognized her quiet genius, soon to launch her to the type of notoriety that no gallery ever could have.
"Panache. How about 'panettone,' amirite?" Mira thought wryly to herself. A smile spread over her face. This was only the beginning.
*We know almost nothing about this woman, and she has yet to respond to our interview requests, so we had no choice but to create this fictional profile of BreadFace Girl, assembled out of pure imagination.