Distorte is a collection of stories written by Pierce Gleeson

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Michel Houellebecq Visits a Museum

He spends longer in the rooms where people may be watching him. Sizing up each piece with an authoritative glare, pausing to examine with his hands clasped behind him, legs splayed. Occasionally he leans in to examine strokes of colour or weigh up the tightly-formed grid of a Dutch miniature.

In the rooms with no one near he barely looks at all, a quick sweep of the painting and a cursory glance at the plaque to note the artist. MirĂ³? I should have heard of him? Don’t I have a t-shirt with this on it?

Most of the rooms are occupied, though, so he moves less quickly than he imagined he would. Pretty museum wardens in neat-cut uniforms sit on stools near the doors. Skirts and stocking. He tries to make eye-contact with every one. They look bored. He is old. Older.

He is moving faster than most, however, and catches up with new people in every wing. As he hits 16th Century he finds himself standing next to a skinny minx of a student, barely out of her teens. Perfect. Examining every painting with an intensity available only to the young and the insincere.

He stands on the opposite side of the hall watching her legs’ reflection in the glass frame of a Rembrandt. He thinks about her naked plank of a body, picturing her tiny tits and the sharp jut of her hip bones. Slowing down, he begins to navigate each room in her opposite direction, forcing their intersection again and again. She registers him not once. Soon she turns down a random hall and loses him. Bitch.

He arrives alone into a room of cubists. Pausing to stare longer than usual, he looks around to see if anyone is watching. He then puts his finger into one nostril and runs a thick line of snot down the centre of one of the paintings. Because men are sick and men are disgusting and all they’ll ever want to do is fuck and destroy beautiful things.

Written by Pierce Gleeson
Posted on the 11 Oct, 2007