October 2: my celebrity aura

I don’t know how this happened. I was sitting on the floor with my back propped against the wall in the Turner show exhibition at Tate Britain London. This is my habitual pose in art galeries. I had noticed a nice family going round the exhibition talking snaps of thenselves with the exhibits. They’d done a funny pose in front of a huge sculpture of a pair of buttocks. There was the husband (forties), his wife (forties), a friend (female, forties) and three girl children (ten, fourteen, sixteen). As I sat on the floor by the wall, I noticed one of the girls (the fourteen year old) looking over at me. I smiled back. Aftre a minute the girl came over and sat near me in the same pose. Then her sister sat on the other side of me. The mother took a picture of them with me. There were more selfies of them with me necessarily in the middle. I’m not an installation, you know, I said cheerily. Are you not part of the show? said the mother. Are you the artist? asked the mother’s friend, not joking. I said no. What do you do? asked the mother’s friend, intrigued by me for some reason. Give us a clue. I gave an easy clue and they guessed my main occupation. One of the girls said, Can I have a selfie with you, just me and you? I said why not? The mother’s friend said, guess what I do? I said, give me a clue. She said the word leather. Afte a moment I guessed. You’re a milkmaid. I was right. The mother’s friend was astounded by me. They were all astounded by me. I was the most remarkable piece of contemporary life thye’d seen all day, art or no art. The friend lived in Suffolk. She was an actual milk farmer. More selfies followed. I was a phenomenon. Then they asked me where they should have lunch. I said, just don’t have pizza. It starts tasting like cardboard after two mouthfuls. The girls said, that’s soooo true. And they said to their mum and dad, that’s soooo true. They said they’d go to Wagamama. On my advice.
A few minutes earlier when I’d arrived at Tate Britain I had been spontaneously embraced by the seven year old nephew of my friend Isabel, a boy I had never met. And then his seven year old class mate embraced me too. Maybe the Tate Britain gives me aura. A couple of hours later, as I was waiting at a bus stop in the rain, my umbrella sagged and refused to go up. I looked at my mobile. 7.23. The moment the spell was broken. My bus stop ws out of service. I walked down to South Kensington in the pouring rain with a faulty umbrella. My day as a celebrity was over.

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