The Museum of Fictions – extract.

A woman with her feet unwrapped
Image via Wikipedia

The Museum of Fictions is a book about the nomadic museum in Paris. In this section of the book, a guru called Monsieur Hightowers initiates Michele, an Afro-British visitor to Paris, into the arcane ritual of how to wear a museum on one’s body.

We’re all extras, Michele: we live, we morph, we die. Did you fulfill your promise, today? Paris changes with every new wave of gentrification.

So how will I blend in with the Parisian decorators?

You will build a nomadic museum in your studio apartment in Auteuil. Because the museum is nomadic… you will pick yourself up, put yourself down, walk the streets of Paris and take your nomadic museum onto the Paris metro.

That’s the way to blend in around here?

Yes, the museum will be powered by your persona of a woman nomad who, in order to bring her museum to the people, chooses to carry her museum on her body: she then adds extensions to her frame by trailing clothes lines from her limbs. The clothes lines are filled with washing pegs from which hang the pages of the museum’s catalogue. The catalogue is called The Museum of Fictions.

On page one we have maps of pre-sand Egypt; page two: joined up walking with minimal independence due to foot binding; page three; flying yogis, flying. And so it goes on…

Great! Got that! And how do I support myself?

Monsieur Hightowers peels off magic maintenance from a handful of carpet fibers and gives the gift to Michele.

And you just show up like a companion genie.

I envy the fact that you have no family.

I walked from away from them. Are you prepared to do that?

Michele, weren’t you the lucky one who shot your parents?

Luck has nothing to do with it; I just saw a window of opportunity and climbed through it. Don’t let anger lapse into long-held resentment. Finish the task. Blow the whole fucking bridge up if you have to.

Precisely Michele, and reproduce images without pondering unduly. Imagine if you were to do this and nothing else, you would never lack motivation, would you? Either get on with what you came here to do, or continue on like the marionette who never advances beyond the paper finger exercises to the piano. The leader of the pack or should I say the reluctant leader? Willing to let everyone else show their hand before stepping forward and saying … Truth, Knowledge, Ascension, pick a card. And God said:

Ahem, you know how I feel about the words G.O.D.

Okay Buddha, feel bitter about him, too?

Look, could you just tell me how I operate this bloody museum? Do I have a team or do I go it alone?

Nomad open architecture, we each improve the other. There’s madness in Paris that is spiritual. Do you have any doubts? If not, I should leave.

Where do I begin?

Begin where you stand. In the Museum of Fictions, the welcome is only temporary.

Where have you been all my life?

I went to the end of the road.

And what was it like at the end of the road?

You tell me, your body is now a visionary factory.