Two Fridays ago, I went to the Dresden Exhibit with kesterly and Brooke. I really enjoyed the exhibit; it was far superior to the last couple that Jackson has tried to rope in, which consisted mainly of reproductions and bad documentary music. It's a shame that this exhibit, which was worthwhile, with caches of old master's paintings, Roman and baroque marble statues, armor, gems/jewelry, guns and those amazing antlers and even a forged "holy hand grenade" (the replacement of the orb, scepter and crown of the Holy Roman Empire when the originals were elsewhere and the title was in dispute).
I was standing, very close, in front of a large glass casement with a sizeable book inside. It was in this room, actually, for those who have been there. The book was opened to two drawings, studies for a statue, perhaps, I can't recall.
What I do recall is feeling, just on the barest edges of my periphery, someone leaning in toward the casement to see the drawings therein. There was lots of space between him and the piece and him and me. People are like that in museums, around people they don't know, leaving expanses of hovering air, inviolable space.
Not me. I always get in breathing distance to museum pieces, to breathe on them and feel the air around them since I can not touch. And the people, too. I am polite, waiting for my turn, and leave room for other viewers, but if I have to knock elbows with someone to see, all they get is a "pardon me".
Not that this guy was rude. He was mind his own business, peering in, absorbed in reading the placard glued on the glass.
And I got this urge, so needful and immediate, that it was almost involuntary. I didn't have a chance to think before I turned sideways, flung my arms in front of me, and started waving them madly in the space between him and the book and said "No! Don't look! Don't look!".
It was probably no louder than normal speaking voice, but in cloak of reverent museum silence, it was like a shout. My arms rushed back to my breasts (was I afraid of being struck?) and I finally got a good look at him. He was a normal little man, somewhat petite, with a thin military haircut, in dress-casual khakis and a white-ish button down: a sharp nose and bewildered eyes.
His head swiveled left and right, in short vibrating arcs lead by the tip of his nose, like he was trying to shake himself awake. He was just as shocked as I was. I wondered for a second if he even spoke English, because he didn't say a word. Not that it mattered. I wouldn't let him get a word in edgewise.
I babbled at him for a few seconds, stringing together incomplete sentences, trying to explain myself. "I was just trying to...I couldn't resist...I just got the urge to...I'm really sorry..."
I finally gave up, mumbled "forgive me" and stepped through the gap between him and the casement.
I spent the next fifteen minutes desperately trying to swallow embarrassed laughter, staring deeply into the pencil studies and Durer woodcuts. I made sure I followed the opposite wall of whichever wall he had chosen and lingered behind so he could get at least one room ahead of me.
The people nearby probably thought me insane: red-faced, erupting into self-conscious, private, little giggles. Underneath the embarrassment was also glee and a bit of guilty pride. I didn't want to admit it, but I was proud of myself for doing something I wanted, when I wanted, without pacifying myself through overthinking and worry about the embarrassment I might feel.
And thus, I have earned enough Darkside points to last me a year.