Sunday, March 18, 2012

. . .

After a day and night with our anarchist lovers, going to the museum felt like returning to the chess board from a week-long free saunter on the checkered tile floor.

Here, rules applied.

Museum people.

-"You can't take pictures."
- "I was just taking a picture of the wall."
-"You can't take pictures."

or, rushing out of the building to talk to us,

-"Sir, you can't smoke there." . . . *directs us to an unmarked place one meter away*

And I think I might have an irrational hatred of the rich. I want to be rich, but when I'm rich I'm totally going to know that richness is a sham, and that I conned the world, and that I've sold out in my complicity to this violent soulless system of coercion.  How can these guys be so happy? Slowly sounding out the pronunciation of painters' names to their rosy-cheeked scarf-wearing kids. 

The language game made things more fun. Before parting ways that morning, I got to impress Cassy by pegging some Nigerians by their accents. At the museum, the African girls were probably from Gabon. They looked at the ritual masks that their great-grandparents wore like they were something from a work of fiction. The dark-skinned Russian speakers I still haven't figured out. So many languages. Six independent inventions of civilization and ten thousand years of development, all so we could drive the same Infiniti G37s to the museum and say the exact same false and asinine things to our kids about the statue.

There was an old statue of a Babylonian priest with his weird-ass conical hat. Nobody here was wearing one of those. This is a guy I could talk to. I wonder what he believed. I wonder if he knew Sumerian as a liturgical language. I wonder who was the last man on earth to believe in his religion.

There was another statue, a gold one, of a Buddha wearing a crown. The placard explained that in Thailand it is believed that kings have a special connection to Buddha, and so they made statues of him in regal, governmental attire. In the room behind it was an older stone statue of a thingless Jain.

Then I was transfixed, captivated, like Hitler before the Spear of Longinus, by an Egyptian hairpin from 3,000 BC. This, more than any of the the dumb Pollack paintings, posed questions. Was she defiant, sarcastic, and flirty? Or was she somber and devout? I wish I could find an ancient Egyptian hairpin. It's so small. Maybe I could steal it.

Leaving the museum we smoked a clove and made our sleepy way to Ft. Worth with hours to kill before the party. "Where to, what next?"

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