The afternoon was going well, too well really.
After the powder blue skies and 360 degree Manhattan views from Big Bambu atop The Met roof, the rest of the day was always going to be a climbdown-both literally and metaphorically.
However, it starts positively, I am really enjoying the Medieval furniture hall and The American and I are pretending we're in The Tudors-the one with Jonathan Rhys Myers on Showtime.
"Ye privy council informs me you are a lady of ill repute!" The American bellows
"'Tis true, to my regret fine Sir!" I reply, head bowed in mock shame.
But it all starts to go tits-up when I get caught stroking a 15th Century tomb. A guard tells me off and The American joins in:
"Stop trying to touch stuff Emma."
"It's too tempting, these things are like, 500 years old!" and I run my fingers along the side of a Belgian tapestry while his back is turned.
Next, we're in a hall that resembles a Stately home, with grand room reconstructions from the last 400 years. It's so... opulent...decadent.
Oh god. I need to stroke things. Sit on the chair, sweep though the room in a Crinoline gown. Be ravished atop the Chippendale table. Instead I just get my camera out of my suddenly horribly modern looking bag. It's dark, I turn on the flash, take the picture.
"MISS! NO FLASH ALLOWED!" yells a scary Museum guard of indeterminable sex.
For the love of Henry VIII! There is no sign about not using a flash. PUT A FUCKING SIGN UP. And what's with the rules anyway? I'm snapping a chamber pot, not the Turin Shroud.
I take the flash off my camera anyway. Or rather, that's what I think I'm doing. Technology is not my friend. Technology just laughs in my face. I take another picture and the flash goes off and it's so bright against the dim lighting, it's like an atom bomb exploded and I'm getting yelled out... again.
As my finale, a mere 5 minutes later, I accidentally lean on a 17th century marble fireplace. It was absentmindedly-I didn't even realise I was doing it. I am told off once more.
This is my tipping point. I am mad and out comes my inner Verruca Salt. The last 3 misdemeanors weren't my fault and really, if it's that delicate, I say put a cover on it? Or rope it off? These are the unspoken museum conventions we all adhere too. If it is touchable, I want to touch it. I will to touch it. I go stropping off and it would have ended there, had The American not have defended the Museum Nazis.
"Honnneeeeee. You just can't touch stuff."
"They're like, totally right, why are you getting mad? You just can't touch shit in here!"
"I know that. I am not a frig-ging child."
"Well, you're acting like one."
'No...you're treating me like one."
"'Uh, cos you're acting like one!"
"Oh for fuck's sake!" I shout.
Then it kicks off. He tells me not to shout, I say I'm not shouting, just raising my voice, which was always the differentiating factor in my house as a kid. He storms off, muttering about just wanting to see the Roman statues. I go after him, we fight again in the grand Gothic lobby. He walks off, going outside to chain smoke. I go after him, we argue once more on the steps and he walks off for a third time and leaves me with all bags for our planned Central Park trip. Before I know it I am hurling a picnic blanket at him down the street. It misses, but by this point, several people have stopped to watch the free entertainment.
I march off in the other direction. I pass the crowd that had gathered, who now look really disappointed the fight is over. I want to ask them if us arguing is the best show they can get in this city? I want to tell them they should come to my place, opposite the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community centre-then then they'd see some real entertainment.
I walk up Fifth Avenue. Two blocks ahead, an entrance to Central Park. The great, grand green goddess I viewed from above while on the roof. The calm amongst the insanity of New York.
I head straight for it. I imagine grass under my feet. I haven't felt grass for months. Grass feels like home. Grass and space. I need space.
Space to breath.
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