I suppose you are those who went to my Museum shows?
Just a brief foreword before I tell you of my story today. My name is Diana, although some refer to me as Mrs Vreeland. I have done a great many things in my life time, lived an extensive period of years, and now have agreed to write for my good friend Karl at his behest.
Now, I have never been a great believer in libraries - public libraries, that is. My good friend, Karl, keeps libraries that are the precise reason one should not bother with the things. Just buy the book, that way it will only be an arms length away.
Contrary to my opinion, however, I discovered the process of libraries is... somewhat simple. I walked into my nearest library almost by accident - I saw a friend stroll in and after some humming and glitter, I decided to stroll about and see what the fuss was.
The lady behind the "membership" counter asked me for photo identification. "My dear", I said "When I started out, photos were starting out. You could say we've known each other a while."
She seemed non-plussed - which I have always used as a conflation of not caring-- a belligerent disinterest. This is opposed to confusion, which is it's 'true' meaning, one might say. In this case, I use it in terms of both.
"Darling..." I continued, letting my words hang like water on a spider web "I am Diana" to which she decided I needed no more proof of existence - and rightly so. This library could follow me around, for all it mattered.
Strolling the ailes, I discovered one of my books. Needless to say, this was delicious. I have often debated with Karl on whether or not people who are... not of means, can read. I am a firm believer that anyone with a desire can achieve, but Karl is in two minds... by which I mean he believes that I am talking nonsense. But... to see my book! People to be reading it! It is battle enough to convince Karl that they can read, let alone read what one of us may write.
A lady asked me what I wanted, after exploring the extend of the answer in my head, I realised she was watching my eyebrows and expecting an answer book-related. She gave me numbers and I went in search of more books. For the life of me, one of them remained elusive. I was a hummingbird in the 700s, so much so I practically tripped over a dowdy woman sprawled on the floor. At first I thought she had tripped, but she had books around her. Not just that my book - in front of her, open.
She smiled up at me through her gossamer hair
"Excuse me," I said "That is my book."
Gossamer, in her turtle sack, looked down
"I do not own it, I wrote it - and so it is mine."
"Oh" her dull little beetles shined up "Mrs Vreeland! I thought you were dead?"
"Vicious lies. I appear dead once at a party and suddenly gossip becomes reputation. The fashion industry is ruthless, my dear, never venture into it." I say this for her benefit, and ours.
"I love your work" Her eyes are wet with admiration
"I think we have misunderstood each other. That is my book."
She hugged the book close to her, which was not the desired outcome. I set my hooded hounds on her until she handed it over. As I held it I thought of the fleas that will now be nestling into my words. I wrote it - therefore it is mine. Some people just cannot understand the concept of ownership.
"I will take these ones" I said
The boy behind the counter with an excess of fringe scanned them and handed them to me.
"I don't think you understand," I continued "I'll take these ones."
"That is what they're there for." He had apathy
"I wish to purchase them from you - with the guarantee -" I also added, so I did not have to repeat this venture "that you will not replace them"
The boy looked non-plussed.
"My dear," I grew tired "clearly you are not who I should be speaking to."
The balding woman from the next room approached. I must make a note to tell Karl that Libraries exist for the Less Fortunate - by which I mean, those who are Unlooking*.
"I wish to buy these."
"We are a library"
"Yes, but people are reading them, you understand?"
"Isn't this why you wrote it?"
"Yes, but not for these people, per se. I write to educate, and it seems the lessons are being misinterpreted. Something is awry. It is very distressing. Do you know who I am?"
It was then, after the second time I had to say this sentence, that I could imagine what it would be line not to be me. It would be awful -- no one would know it was me.
Needless to say after a sit down, a cigarette and a glass of champagne, the whole thing was settled. Now I must ask Anna how to dispose of things.
I sincerely hope that this needn't be experienced again. I crave a cigarette just recounting it. Beware them, readers, Libraries and their Unlookers.
*Unlooking is the perfect balance of dowdy and unimpressive, with a touch of grotesque. For to be ugly or repulsive, there must be some element of beauty for one is compelled to look -- and look again.